Environmental Stewardship...Economic Development...Customer Service

Summer 2012

WELCOME

The DEQbicle
is a quarterly newsletter about the good work we do at the DEQ. Articles are written by staff for staff - tying together our awareness and understanding of DEQ's mission and programs.


Contributors
Amy Banninga
Joli Collett
Maggie Datema
Mary Goodhall
Darlene Harris
Steve Hoin
Heidi Hollenbach
Sara Pearson
Colleen Quinn
Carin Sodeman
Brad Wurfel

Production Team
Alana Berthold
Jim Ostrowski
Carin Sodeman

Editor
Jennifer Acevedo
acevedoj@michigan.gov
517-335-3203

 

Please take this quick 4-question survey to let us know what you think about the new DEQbicle.

SURVEY
 


Submit an Idea for the DEQbicle!

Submission Form

If you would like to submit an article showcasing your work, and interesting project, partnership, or personality, please complete the submission e-form.  Photos and short articles (no longer than one page) are always welcome.  Remember - this is an employee newsletter focusing on the good work we do.

Fall 2012 issue submission deadline is September 17, 2012.
 

Where leaders are made

The effects of a poorly run meeting or an ineffective presentation are lasting. How well do you convey your expertise to citizens and the regulated community? Can you lead meetings efficiently? Can you offer constructive feedback and diplomatically deal with a wide range of people?

view complete article
 


 
UPCOMING EVENTS


Michigan Place Making Tools Workshop
August 28 – Herford & Hops, Escanaba

Pharmacy Day and Medication Disposal Event at the Capitol
September 11 – south Capitol lawn

Michigan Green Health Care Conference
September 11-12 – Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor

Air Permit Application Workshop for First-Time Applicants
September 12 – Constitution Hall, Lansing

Michigan Capitol Area Chapter, American Society for Public Administration: 2012 Annual Conference
September 28 – Lansing

ITRC Light Nonaqueous-Phase Liquids (LNAPL): Science, Management, and Technology Training
October 16-17 – Sheraton Detroit Hotel, Novi

2012 Michigan Green Chemistry And Engineering Conference: Driving Sustainable Manufacturing
October 26 - Wayne State University, Detroit

Air Permit Application Workshop for First-Time Applicants
November 7 – Constitution Hall, Lansing

Michigan Place Making Tools Workshop
November 7 - City Hall, Portland
 

DEQbicle header

 

 

 



News from inside our cubicle walls

 Director's message

Leadership

It’s a word we’ve all been hearing a lot lately. The department recently announced new leadership in our policy and legislative divisions. I recently sent a note to the department congratulating the newest class of the Leadership Academy recruits.

Leadership is important to any organization, and the DEQ is no exception. If you review the DEQ employee survey results on the department Intranet site, you’ll quickly see that it’s important to most people in the agency and many of us are concerned about aspects of the agency’s leadership.

When you think of leadership, what comes to mind? Your supervisor? Your division chief? The DEQ Director? You might think that leadership is connected to a person’s title, but it isn’t. Leadership is about the willingness to stand up and take an active role in bringing a group of people forward. It’s about modeling excellence in your work and inspiring your coworkers through example.

When I look around the DEQ, I see countless examples of great leadership that transcend title. I see Andy Hartz, the District Coordinator in Warren, working with the Detroit Grand Prix this spring on some permitting issues that were critical to the success of a major event in Detroit.

I see Rick Henderson in the Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals, training his people to deliver the department’s stewardship message on how we regulate hydraulic fracturing so they can be an important, informative part of a statewide dialogue on a difficult political subject.

I see Chris Ethridge in Air Quality stepping up with outstanding customer service to help the Canadian government in Windsor deal with a now famous (and still mysterious) hum.

I see Kam Jordan in Water Resources dealing with sensitive sediment issues when he helped the owner of a historic vessel grounded in Saugatuck Harbor free the floating museum and send it back to the Canadian port of its origin.

I see Janelle Hohm in Kalamazoo, partnering with a university to fix historic flooding and turn parking lots into beautiful, semi-urban wetlands.

I could go on for pages. Whether it’s in legislative and policy conversations in Lansing or district visits to the edges of the state, I am struck continually by the high caliber of our people. One of the major objectives of our strategic planning visits around the state was to get a clear sense of the obstacles standing between you and your goals. I believe it is management’s job to do whatever it can to remove those obstacles. In the feedback from employees in every office, I saw professionals in each division sharing their vision, their ideas, their solutions … being leaders.  

It is a dialogue we will continue to have, and an effort we will continue to refine – I want everyone who works for the DEQ to be the best environmental stewards in the state, partners in developing our economy when we can, and working continually to show excellence in our customer service. I cannot underscore the point enough: leadership is not about the title on your business card. It’s about the burning desire to achieve excellence, make things better and make everyone around you part of the change. Leadership is for anyone who accepts its challenge. When you hear me talk about the importance of leadership, know that I am talking to you. I encourage you to look for opportunities to be a leader, no matter what you do for the DEQ.

Dan Wyant,
Director

Cleaning up the former Uniroyal site
by Steve Hoin, Senior Geologist, Remediation Division, SE Michigan


The former Uniroyal site (site) sits on the Detroit River, just west of the Belle Isle Bridge with Mt. Elliot Park on the west and MacArthur Bridge on the east and includes a major uncompleted portion of the very popular Detroit Riverwalk. This site is potentially the most valuable parcel of undeveloped riverfront property remaining in the city of Detroit.  Final development of this site means that the Riverwalk will be complete along the eastern portion of the Detroit Riverfront from Cobo Center to Gabriel Richard Park, east of the Belle Isle Bridge.

view the complete article

Remediation Division initiates reinvention of Environmental Cleanup and Redevelopment Program
by Sara Pearson, Senior Geologist and TAPS Team Coordinator, Grand Rapids


The Office of Regulatory Reinvention examined Michigan’s regulations and made recommendations for changes government-wide in a report.  Of 79 recommendations approved for the DEQ, 16 specifically targeted regulations related to the Remediation Division (RD).  In response, RD initiated the Collaborative Stakeholder Initiative (CSI) process to address those recommendations and broaden the state’s environmental stewardship with a reinvented, durable remediation and brownfield redevelopment program.

view the complete article

Winning results in Belding
by Heidi Hollenbach, District Coordinator for Grand Rapids


Mueller Industries is a brass mill located in Belding that manufactures rod for use in machining, thread rolling, and forging applications. It was determined through stack testing required by the Air Quality Division (AQD) that emissions of lead, hydrogen chloride, and particulate matter from the plant exceeded levels allowed by their air use permit.  In addition, due to federally required ambient air monitoring, a new monitor was installed adjacent to the facility. Monitor results determined that the new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead was being violated.

To determine if air emissions had impacted the surrounding soil, the Remediation Division collected samples from the residential area in the vicinity of Mueller Industries. Results indicated that some soils in the neighborhood exceeded the direct contact criteria for lead.

view the complete article

ICC Mining Team providing tools for progress
by Colleen Quinn, OEA Intern, and Amy Banninga, MEDC

Global demand for metals is driving an uptick in mining activity in Michigan. To help prepare us as a state for this industry, Director Wyant recommended that an interagency Mining Team be formed to explore existing Michigan mining policies and processes, identify areas for improved efficiencies, and design strategic recommendations leading to more sustainable environmental and economic development outcomes. 

The Mining Team is a work group of the Interdepartmental Collaboration Committee (ICC). The ICC was formed as a result of Governor Snyder’s Special Message on Community Development & Local Government Reforms. Governor Snyder called for a restructuring of state government so that it can more effectively enable local and regional collaboration and reform, and be formally connected in a way that promotes interagency teamwork and collaboration with local government and regional leaders. The ICC is a high level work group of state departments and agencies, charged with ensuring that state government will become a better partner with local government, the private sector, and regional development organizations across Michigan. The ICC is comprised of department directors and department champions who identify opportunities and work together to develop and implement solutions to existing problems and discover new approaches that further economic development and placemaking. This group serves as a steering committee and provides oversight of subcommittee and work group activities, ensuring that they remain focused on meeting both the ICC Objectives as well as the expectations set forth in Governor Snyder’s Special Message. Here is a link to the 2011 ICC Annual Report: www.MichiganAdvantage.org/ICC.

The ICC Mining Team has held monthly meetings since December 2011. The work group consists of nine agencies actively involved in these meetings, with the DEQ taking the lead via Jim Goodheart. As part of the monthly meetings, the ICC Mining team invited a variety of stakeholders, tribal governments, and partners in the mining industry to present their views and experiences related to the mining exploration, permitting, and development process. The team has collaborated to develop an extensive Mining Reference Document for business and staff use. In addition, a detailed flow diagram of the DEQ and DNR permitting process is nearly ready. When these documents are finalized, the group envisions a tool that will provide a better understanding of Michigan mining information for the public, industry, and stakeholders. The work of the ICC Mining Team continues, with the goal of providing more clarity, process efficiency, predictability, and collaboration between the State, the mining industry, and our external partners here within Michigan and beyond.

A December 2011 photo from the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. shows the entrance (large metal tube) to the nickel and copper mine the company began drilling in Michigan in September.

Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co./AP/File

Meteorologist by day, Civil War actor by night…five minutes with Jim Haywood
By Carin Sodeman, Office of Environmental Assistance

Did you know that the DEQ has designated staff meteorologists?  Neither did I – until I had the recent pleasure of sitting down with our resident air quality expert, Jim Haywood. In his southern accent, the self-proclaimed southern boy was quick to credit his work partner, fellow meteorologist, Stephanie Hengesbach, as he elaborated on a day in the life of a Senior Meteorologist for the Air Quality Division...

 

Read the Entire Fascinating Interview,
5 Minutes with Jim Haywood

 


The Beech Tree has oil that resists electricity.
In a bad thunder storm, people used to run for a beech tree. There is a superstition that lightning will not strike a beech. As a matter of fact, they probably are struck as often as any other tree but without being damaged. Because of the fatty content of the wood, their smooth bark, and their many fine twigs and buds, beech trees are good conductors of electricity. Therefore a bolt of lightning is usually carried down into the ground harmlessly. 


Environmental Assistance Center (EAC) update

The Environmental Assistance Center (EAC) is the DEQ's "front line" for day-to-day contact with the general public and regulated community. This call center provides businesses, individuals, and communities with a single point of access to all DEQ programs.

From April through June 2012, the EAC received 4,505 calls.

This quarter's most frequently asked questions related to the following programs:

  • Hazardous Waste User Charge

  • Wetland Delineation

  • Aquatic Nuisance Control (plant control)


This quarter's most interesting call went to the Land and Water staff in the WRD. An entrepreneur wants to start placing energy barges in water bodies across the state. The barge generates electricity by sitting in a river, allowing the river current to turn a turbine.
 



Quality of Life Leadership Academy

The Quality of Life (QOL) Leadership Academy offers a collaborative learning experience via the Departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Agriculture and Rural Development. Academy participants develop skill in the leadership competencies of Adaptability, Building Partnerships, Building Trust, Communication, Decision Making, Developing a Successful Team, Facilitating Change, Valuing Diversity and Inclusion, and Strategic Thinking. Learning is accomplished through various modalities encompassing a diverse range of leaders, stakeholders, topical discussions, network-building opportunities, team projects and reading assignments.

Numerous candidates engaged in the selection process which consisted of an online application, a writing assignment, and an oral interview. Those selected will commence the 2012-13 Leadership Academy August 15-17, 2012, and graduate in June, 2013.

A Leadership Academy Steering Committee comprised of senior management team members and graduates from prior Academy classes oversees development and implementation of the Academy. Questions about the Academy may be directed to Mary Goodhall at 517-241-7968 or goodhallm@michigan.gov.

 

 


Congratulations to the class of 2012-13 Leadership Academy!

Joel Asher

DEQ

AQD

Dan Beauchamp

DEQ

WRD

Patricia Bizoukas

MDARD

Food/Dairy

Michael Bolf

DEQ

RMD

Elaine Brown

MDARD

Env’l Stewardship

Stephen Busch

DEQ

RMD

Dan Chamberlin

DEQ

Admin

Scott Cornelius

DEQ

RD

Joseph DeGrazia

DEQ

RD

Kristina Donaldson

DEQ

RMD

Natalie Elkins

DNR

MOD

Melanie Foose

DEQ

OGL

Steven Halstead

MDARD

Executive

Jason Hartman

DNR

FRD

Natasha Horne

MDARD

Food/Dairy

Amy Kohlhepp

DEQ

OEA

Valerie Lafferty

DNR

FOD

David Malloch

DNR

LED

Lisa Munroe

DNR

FOD

Steven Orange

DNR

LED

Virginia Pennala

DEQ

WRD

Joe Pettit

DEQ

RMD

Jolene Priest

DNR

MOD

Robert Reisner

DEQ

RD

John Riley

DEQ

OGL

Martin Rodriquez

MDARD

Animal Industry

Chad Rogers

DEQ

OEA

James Sallee

DEQ

WRD

Joshua Scheels

DEQ

RD

Brian Verhougstraete

MDARD

PPPM

Bruce Washburn

DEQ

WRD

Adam Wygnat

DEQ

RMD-OOGM

Increase compliance through online training

 

The Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) has been organizing conferences and workshops for decades now. But with high prices of gasoline and today’s economic pressures, travel time and costs can be a deterrent to attend trainings. That is why our office is focused on improving customer service by providing webinars and developing on-demand training to educate businesses, municipalities, and the public on environmental requirements, pollution prevention practices, and other topics related to the DEQ’s programs.

The OEA can work with your program to develop a focused outline for a one-to-two hour training – whether it be a webinar or on-demand training.





Cat tails signify a wetland and are edible; if you pull them near the ground the white part of the base of the stalk of the leaves tastes like cucumbers.  Yes, I have tried it and it is delicious. (Source: R. Hartz, DEQ Geologist)
 



HUMAN RESOURCES
quarterly update

  Welcome new DEQ hires!

  • Brian Anderson, WRD Gaylord    

  • Carolyn Bergstrom, RMD Warren

  • Leigh Copen, Exec Office                

  • John Draminski, WRD Cadillac  

  • Mark Dziadosz, AQD Warren         

  • Kelly Gruber, RD Grand Rapids       

  • Lisa Hoeh, AQD Administration

  • Matthew Kleitch, WRD Gaylord

  • Beth Place, RD Superfund

  • Sylvia  Renteria, Administration Finance - Budget       

  • Kevin Schrems, RD Enforcement

  • Erick Thorson, Law CI Field Operations 

  • Heidi Vanegas, WRD Groundwater  

  • Todd Zynda, AQD Detroit              

Adios DEQ retirees!

  • David Davis, RMD OOGM     

  • Maggie Fields, OEA Pollution Prevention

  • Frederick Harris, AQD Kalamazoo            

  • Wendy Jansma, RMD Revolving Loan

  • Frank Ruswick, OGL Administration           

  • Daniel Sandahl, RMD On site wastewater

  • Lee Varner, AQD Detroit
     

 

Webinars

A "webinar" is a Web seminar. It's an online, real-time, interactive forum where individual participants can see materials that the presenter is showing real-time on screen and hear the discussion. Participants can inter-act with the trainer by asking questions and taking notes as if they were in the same room with the trainer.

 

In addition to working with program staff to create the outline for the training, OEA staff can also provide marketing and registration assistance, host the webinar, and even record and post the training on line for those unable to attend.

 

An example of a DEQ webinar is the Introduction to Hazardous Waste Regulations series. The first webinar in this series, Waste Characterization and Generator Status, received over 100 registrations after just the first hour of marketing! You can find a listing of current webinar offerings at www.michigan.gov/deqworkshops (click on “webinars”).

On-Demand

A webinar is different from on-demand training, which is pre-recorded and edited and may incorporate slides, video, screen capture, and a voice-over script. On-demand training tutorials can be viewed on line at any time. OEA staff can work with you on recording and editing your training and get it posted to the Web. We can also assist in marketing the training.

 

Several DEQ on-demand trainings can be found on line at www.michigan.gov/deqworkshops, click on “DEQ Online Learning Curriculum.”  

 

The benefits of online training are obvious – low-to-no cost, time-efficient, up-to-date training on relevant topics straight from DEQ program staff. And to top it off, we are practicing what we preach and reducing our carbon footprint. 

 

If you are interested in providing online training of your program, please contact Jim Ostrowski in the Office of Environmental Assistance – ostrowskij2@michigan.gov.

Administration Division news


Legislative Corner with DEQ's Director of Legislative Affairs, Maggie Datema

The first part of the year was a busy time for the DEQ legislative shop. The spring season began as the Lieutenant Governor helped kick off our Earth Day Celebration by signing PA 102 of 2012, a bill that restricts the use of burning barrels for household trash disposal.  This important piece of legislation was championed by Jim Ostrowski, Office of Environmental Assistance, and Matt Flechter, Resource Management Division, both of whom spent countless hours working on the rules package that eventually resulted in the legislation.

 

As the legislative session was wrapping up for summer break, the DEQ was involved in two pieces of legislation to amend regulations of the Great Lakes shoreline. We were successful in protecting public trust while limiting the scope of beach maintenance activities in PA 247 of 2012. This legislation will allow for shoreline property owners to perform limited beach grooming activities without a permit from the DEQ.

Also affecting the Great Lakes shoreline are changes to the Sand Dunes Protection and Management Act, which allow for the expansion of driveways and new permitting criteria. While these changes were not proposed by the department, they ensure the statute is still enforceable, and more importantly, do not result in additional costly regulatory takings.

Before the season ended, the Remediation Division worked closely with the Collaborative Stakeholder Initiative (CSI) groups to make changes to the groundwater-surface water interface criteria. This legislative change was a recommendation of the CSI workgroup and one of many that the department will be pushing this year.

The Legislature comes back for a one day marathon session August 15th before they officially resume on September 11th. The fall should be a busy time for the DEQ legislative shop as we continue to work on the Office of Regulatory Reform/CSI recommended reforms, changes to the wetland statute, and the creation of the State Revolving Loan fund for sewer and storm water infrastructure projects.
 

 

Procurement Services
On June 29, the agreement between the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the DEQ for Procurement Services ended. All Procurement Services, except Vehicle and Travel Services (VTS) services, are now handled through DEQ Procurement, by Carla Wintz, with assistance from Suzi Smith. Carla joined the Financial Management and Federal Aid Section of the Administration Division, reporting to Sharon Maher. VTS is still coordinated by Marietta Cook, in the DNR.  Please direct any questions regarding procurement policies and procedures to either Carla (17107) or Sharon (17994).

Lansing Central Pooled Vehicle Merger
The Lansing Central pool of cars and vans will merge with the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) fleet, effective August 1, 2012.  System users will likely not notice any significant changes during the transition. You will continue to select the “Lansing Central – DEQ” site in the FleetCommander System when making vehicle reservations. The check-in kiosk, keys, and notebooks will remain on 4 North, and the vehicles will continue to be parked in the same Allegan ramp parking locations. 

DTMB will bill the department based on trip duration and mileage.  Based on 2011 Lansing Central pooled car and van trips, the Department expects to realize more than $25,000 in annual savings. 

The DEQ Lansing Central pooled trucks will continue to be administered by the Lansing District Administration Division staff.  The transition phase is expected to continue through 2012. The DEQ Lansing Central pooled vehicles (with the exception of the trucks) will become part of the DTMB downtown Lansing fleet, thus giving the DEQ staff who use the Lansing Central pool a much larger pond from which to fish for a vehicle.

Contact Tina Ballard-Atkins at 989-894-6205 for more information.

 Tech Tips

 

Tech Tip:  Where did Microsoft put all the commands in 2010?
Can’t find what happened to the familiar icons from Microsoft Office 2003?  Microsoft has a downloadable interactive guide that will show you where the 2003 command locations are in the new 2010 version. 

  1. Open Word

  2. Select the File

  3. Select Help

  4. Select Getting Started 
    A Web page will open. 

  5. Select Missing the menus in the right column,

  6. Click on “Run the Word Interactive Guide.”

  7. From the welcome screen, click Start.

  8. Rest the mouse pointer over a Word 2003 menu or button to learn its new location in Word 2010.  Click the command for a demonstration.”   

 

 

 

"Your actions speak so loudly that I
cannot hear what you say."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson