Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

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Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Agency overview
Formed 1995
Preceding Agency Department of Natural Resources[1]
Jurisdiction Michigan
Headquarters Lansing, Michigan
Annual budget $341.3 million (2010)
Agency executive Steven E. Chester, Director[2]
Child agencies Air Quality Division
Environmental Science and Services Division
Land and Water Management Division
Office of Geological Survey
Office of the Great Lakes
Remediation & Redevelopment Division
Waste & Hazardous Materials Division
Water Bureau[3]
Website www.michigan.gov/deq/

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is the agency of the state of Michigan charged with environmental contamination.


In 1995, The Department of Environmental Quality was created by Executive Order No. 1995-18, which transferred environmental regulatory programs from the Department of Natural Resources to it.[4] Subsequent Executive Orders transferred additional regulatory programs formerly associated with other agencies, such as Low Level Radioactive Waste Authority from the Department of Commerce, the Above Ground Storage Tank Program and the inspection of dry cleaning establishments from the Department of State Police, the Michigan Environmental Science Board and the Environmental Administration Division from the Department of Management and Budget. A significant order in 1999 created the Water Quality Advisory Board.

In 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm moved to merge the Department back into the Department of Natural Resources and the authority to appoint the reunited department's director instead of Natural Resources Commission. The State Senate has passed a resolution to stop the merger.[5]

Budget Allocation[edit]


MDEQ Appropriations over $10M

Major restricted appropriations, over $10M (estimated fiscal year 2009-10):

1. Forestry Funds

  • Forest Redevelopment: $32.870M

2. Game and Fish Funds

  • Game and Fish Protection Trust Fund: $12.577M, Game and Fish (General Purpose): $60.598M

3. Parks Funds

  • State Parks Endowment Fund: $22.107M*, State Parks Improvement Fund: $39.523M

4. Waterways Funds

  • Waterways: $23.960M

5. Miscellaneous

  • Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund: $56.399M*

(*Including funds to be transferred to permanent investment).

Clean Water Fund[edit]

Michigan's 20 largest inland lakes.

The Clean Water Fund plays a major collaborative role with the MDEQ in protecting Michigan’s environment and water resources. They help enact the DEQ’s plans for water pollution controls and for monitoring the quality of Michigan’s water.[6] The Clean Water Fund strongly values the Great Lakes as a natural resource, and aims to protect the lakes as much as possible.[7] They want to keep the lakes and their resources as public assets, not held by private institutions.[8] The organization also helps in protecting water resources from pollution (e.g. waste from natural gas extraction), as well as protecting groundwater. One grant the DEQ allotted to the CWF was $8 million to correct wastewater flow from storm sewers.[9]

Clean Michigan Initiative & CMI Brownfield Funding[edit]

The Clean Michigan Initiative is a $675 million bond, approved in 1998, aimed directly at Michigan’s water resources, administered by the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources and Community Health. Among the recipients of funding are local and state parks, waterfronts, the Clean Water Fund, lead and other contaminants, and CMI Brownfield Funding. Forty-three state parks and 136 projects received this funding from the CMI.[10] The Brownfield Funding is generally for the cleanup of contaminated sites and areas of endangerment, as well as examining and redeveloping areas when it’s possible. Many Brownfield sites are in cities that used to have a significant amount of manufacturing and heavy industry, as well as small towns. Revitalization of these degraded sites benefits the communities around them, economically and environmentally.[11]

Smaller Grants and Loans[edit]

Additionally, a variety of smaller grants and loans are awarded for a number of projects throughout the state of Michigan, ranging from the handling of scrap tires to the voluntary cleanup of creeks. For example, $500–$5000 can be awarded to organize a volunteer cleanup of Michigan rivers, streams or creeks. Many of the awards require the recipients to match some portion of the grant, many times 25-50%.[12]

Environmental Incentives[edit]

Many incentives are administered by The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) and offered to local businesses, governmental units, and other industry sectors to maintain strict environmental responsibility. Incentives can include public recognition and regulatory flexibility among others. Listed below are incentives that are available:

Neighborhood Environmental Partners[edit]

The Neighborhood Environmental Partners Program was developed in 2004 and is a program that recognizes and awards facilities who work with community partners to improve the environment in their community.[13] The award inspires businesses and citizen groups to work together for the mutual interest of creating a cleaner and more attractive area to live and work in.[14]

Environmental Management System[edit]

Environmental Management Systems are based on the International Organization for Standardization’s framework and are used worldwide by businesses, organizations, and other agencies in order to identify, monitor, and control potential environmental impacts. The EMS creates a site-specific management system for the MDEQ that allocates the resources and responsibilities needed to address environmental concerns. It also includes an ongoing evaluation of the practices, procedures, and processes of the MDEQ in order to achieve quality and sound environmental performance. The goal of an EMS is to increase efficiency and to reduce environmental impacts.[15]

Clean Corporate Citizen[edit]

MDEQ’s Clean Corporate Citizen program was established to allow regulated establishments that have demonstrated environmental stewardship and a strong environmental ethic to be recognized as Clean Corporate Citizens. The goal of this program is to provide long-term benefits to Michigan’s environment through encouraging companies to voluntarily commit to waste reduction and to initiate other efforts related to environmental sustainability. To qualify as a Clean Corporate Citizen, organizations must adopt a facility-specific EMS, establish and track pollution prevention goals, and have a consistent record of compliance with applicable environmental requirements.[16] The designation of Clean Corporate Citizen signifies that these Michigan facilities can be relied upon to carry out their environmental protection responsibilities, and therefore are permitted greater flexibility than facilities that have not been recognized as Clean Corporate Citizens. Clean Corporate Citizens also receive public recognition and are entitled to specific regulatory benefits, which include expedited permits.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of DEQ
  2. ^ DEQ Director Steven E. Chester
  3. ^ Guide to DEQ Divisions & Offices
  4. ^ from the Agency's history page, accessed December 20, 2006
  5. ^ "Metro briefs: Granholm merger plan voted down". Detroit News (Detroit, Michigan). November 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  6. ^ "DEQ - Clean Water Fund (CWF)." SOM - State of Michigan. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3307_3515-93611--,00.html>.
  7. ^ "Michigan Programs." Clean Water Fund. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.cleanwaterfund.org/michigan>.
  8. ^ Clean Water Action. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.cleanwateraction.org/mi>.
  9. ^ Department of Environmental Quality. Grants and Loans Catalog. Rep. 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-essd-grantsloans-catalog_210643_7.pdf>.
  10. ^ "DEQ - Clean Michigan Initiative." SOM - State of Michigan. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3307_31116---,00.html>.
  11. ^ "DNR - Clean Michigan Initiative." SOM - State of Michigan. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-30301_31154_32314---,00.html>.
  12. ^ Department of Environmental Quality. Grants and Loans Catalog. Rep. 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-essd-grantsloans-catalog_210643_7.pdf>.
  13. ^ DEQ - Neighborhood Environmental Partners." SOM - State of Michigan. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3307_3666_30705---,00.html>.
  14. ^ "Herman Miller Receives MDEQ Neighborhood Environmental Partners Program Award." Herman Miller. Herman Miller, 30 July 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://hermanmiller.com/DotCom/jsp/aboutUs/newsDetail.jsp?navId=194>.
  15. ^ "DEQ - Environmental Management System." SOM - State of Michigan. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3307_3666_4149---,00.html>.
  16. ^ "DTE Energy - Clean Corporate Citizen." DTE Energy - Home Page. DTE Energy. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.dteenergy.com/dteEnergyCompany/environment/awards/ccc.html>.
  17. ^ "DEQ - Clean Corporate Citizen." SOM - State of Michigan. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3585_57802_4134---,00.html>.

External links[edit]