Flooding in Sanford

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) issued state guidelines that offer residents basic guidance on how to manage debris.

The guidelines were issued after massive dam failures caused massive flooding in the Midland area.

“In times of disaster, we are keeping the health and safety of Michiganders at the forefront of cleanup efforts that protect our state’s environment,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. “We are committed to help build a safe path to recovery.”

EGLE offers the following guidelines:

  • After the evacuation, be sure to check with local authorities before returning. Upon arrival at the property, conduct a visual inspection to check for any downed power lines.
  • Itemize items on the property, with special attention to hazardous materials such as paint, motor oil, and solvents. For a list of common types of household hazardous waste and local household hazardous waste collection contacts, visit Michigan.gov/EGLEHHW.
  • Use caution when walking through standing water or large debris piles to avoid hidden hazards, such as nails and other sharp objects.
  • Residents and business owners should treat flood-related construction and demolition debris as potentially containing asbestos. This material should be in a wet condition until disposal. For more information on handling asbestos waste, visit Michigan.gov/EGLEAsbestos.
  • Contact local officials regarding disposal instructions for structural materials, roofing, insulation, siding, appliances, carpet, furniture, and other household items.
  • Storm-generated woody and vegetative debris such as trees and untreated wood should be sorted and allowed to dry. These items can be chipped into mulch, composted or, saved for municipal collection in areas that do so.
  • Check with your local city, township, or village officials before lighting a fire. If no local ordinances are in effect, state law allows burning grass and leaves in municipalities with populations less than 7,500 unless prohibited by local ordinance. It also prohibits burning any yard debris within 1,400 feet of an incorporated city or village limit under EGLE air quality rules. For questions about open burning, visit gov/OpenBurning.

EGLE’s Materials Management Division (MMD) has the authority to issue emergency disposal authorizations to municipalities recovering from a disaster or emergency. Requests for emergency disposal authorization generally come from the county emergency management program and are sent to the State Emergency Operations Center, which coordinates with appropriate EGLE staff.

For questions about emergency disposal permits, contact the MMD Solid Waste Section at 517-284-6588.

For EGLE guidance on storm debris, click here.

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