Sure evidence the Michigan economy is improving was borne out by near record attendance on June 10th for the biennial Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Environmental Compliance Conference at Burton Manor in Livonia. This was the last of three events planned by the MDEQ (similar events occurred in Traverse City and Grand Rapids) whose main objective was to update those organizations who must comply with a myriad of state regulations and laws to keep Michigan’s air clean and water pure. With a large number of support staff on hand, several keynotes and almost twenty breakout sessions, it’s safe to say mission accomplished!
Dan Wyant, Director of MDEQ, opened the day’s event with comments on the department’s three goals: To be leaders in environmental stewardship, to excel at customer service and to be a worthy partner in Michigan’s economic development. Using the Governor’s tagline of creating the nation’s most pervasive Blue (ie. water) economy, achievement of these goals is a cornerstone of the larger economic picture. It’s hard to tout our state’s abundant natural resources (lakes, streams, parks, trails, etc.) if the water is dirty and the air unhealthy to breathe. Thus, the importance of this event is self evident to not only the department, but anyone interested in preserving the special status Michigan carries with 20% of the earth’s fresh water at its doorstep.
Attendees had an opportunity to follow one or more of several tracks provided at the conference: Waste, Wastewater, Air/Remediation and Sustainability. Specific divisions within the MDEQ also had informational tables manned by environmental experts available to answer attendees’ questions. Additional expertise was provided through retired engineers (Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program – RETAP) interested in adding value to attendees through free advice on a number of topical subjects. More information was shared on low cost loans (Small Business P2 Loan Program) to replace aging equipment and infrastructure and also information on the Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) Program. Finally, tips were provided on handling an environmental inspection and all attendees were provided the Environmental Assistance Center’s 800 telephone number.
Those attendees who took the time to attend the 2014 Michigan Environmental Compliance Conference received more than their fair share of information. Considering the MDEQ a partner in moving Michigan forward is the proper manner in which to view this department, which is as much involved in helping Michigan businesses grow as it is in serving as the environmental compliance division for the state. MDEQ is a business partner for all those interested in moving the Blue Economy forward in Michigan.
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of Green Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He speaks, writes and reports about emerging green real estate and development issues in Michigan and elsewhere. Bob is a senior correspondent for www.greeningdetroit.com For more information, contact Bob at Greening Detroit (248) 762-4370; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org