New Webinar Series for Local Officials and Community Leaders!

Posted on February 15, 2019 by Dene Westbrook

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is excited to launch the new Local Leaders Webinar Series. The series is dedicated to helping Michigan’s local officials and community leaders gain a better understanding of the DEQ and the environmental regulations that affect their communities. Each month, the DEQ will host a 1-hour webinar that will tackle a topic of interest to local officials and community leaders throughout the state. Each webinar will include a presentation by DEQ staff and time for questions from attendees. Information on the first three webinars in the series is listed below. More webinars will be added throughout the year. Registration is available at

February 21, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
PFAS – What local leaders should know about PFAS contamination in Michigan

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of manmade chemicals that are resistant to heat, water, and oil. For decades, they have been used in many industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, food paper wrappings, personal care products, fire-fighting foams, and metal plating. PFAS have been found at low levels both in the environment and in blood samples of the general U.S. population. The DEQ began a statewide initiative to test drinking water from all schools that use well water and community water supplies for PFAS. The DEQ took this precautionary step of testing these drinking water sources to determine if public health actions are needed. Local officials and community leaders may have questions about how to prepare, respond, and address questions from residents. In this webinar, DEQ staff will provide an overview of what PFAS is, what the DEQ is doing about it, and what local leaders need to know.

March 26, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
Marihuana Production and Processing Operations – Environmental Regulations and Concerns

With the legalization of recreational marihuana in Michigan, local leaders are faced with managing environmental concerns from the growing and processing of marihuana. The DEQ created a Marihuana Workgroup to evaluate the environmental risks posed by marihuana growing and processing as well as to assess the applicability of existing environmental regulations to this budding industry. Marihuana is known to have impacts on all environmental media including causing odors, having water discharges, dealing with land use restrictions, and pesticide and herbicide use that falls out of agricultural regulations. All of these challenges can cause community concerns and complaints. Register for this webinar to learn about how your governing agency can manage recreational marihuana impacts in your community.

April 30, 10:00 – 11:00 AM
How Does the DEQ Regulate Businesses in Your Community?

Local officials wear a lot of hats and may not be familiar with the many environmental regulations that affect businesses in their community. The DEQ regulates sources of air pollution, waste handling, wastewater and storm water discharges, and more. To ensure human health and the protection of the environment is protected, DEQ inspection staff regularly visit businesses to ensure they are meeting the environmental regulations that apply to their operations. In this webinar, we will provide an overview of the many regulations that affect both large and small businesses in your community. We will also have a panel of environmental specialists from the DEQ available to answer your questions. This webinar will be especially helpful to local leaders who respond to residential complaints and those who need to know about the environmental requirements that apply to new or expanding businesses. If you’d like to get a good overview of environmental regulations or have had questions but didn’t know who to ask, this is the session for you!

John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.

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