Regional Cooperation

The City of East Lansing continually works on environmentally sound practices and initiatives to reduce storm water pollution from entering sewers and, eventually, rivers, streams and drainage-ways.
East Lansing is located within two watersheds, the Red Cedar River and the Looking Glass River watersheds, each of which encompasses several open drainage-ways. These water resources provide recreational and aesthetic value to citizens as well as a natural habitat for a variety of plants and animals.

Regional Cooperation

Because rivers, streams and watersheds do not recognize political boundaries, the City of East Lansing became one of 18 members of the Greater Lansing Regional Committee for Stormwater Management (GLRC) to work together to address stormwater management. The GLRC helps guide the implementation of stormwater programs (PDF) for communities within the Red Cedar, Looking Glass and Grand River watersheds. It collaborates on several different projects and efforts related to water quality improvements, recreational opportunities, pollution prevention and regional water resource management.

The GLRC helped lead the City's efforts in meeting the requirements of the individual communities' General Watershed Permits that were issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

During this time period, the City of East Lansing, in cooperation with the GLRC, worked on developing and implementing the following initiatives:

  • Development of Watershed Management Plans, which include a comprehensive action plan to address the needs of each watershed.
  • Implementation of a Public Participation Plan.
  • Development of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Initiatives (SWPPI) plan that specifically identified the City's commitment for addressing each of the individual action items listed in the Watershed Management Plans and in the City's NPDES permit.
  • Implementation of a Public Education Plan.
  • Implementation of an Illicit Discharge Elimination Plan (IDEP) that required the identification, field investigation and inspection of all storm water discharges into the rivers, streams and drainage-ways throughout the City of East Lasing to ensure that no pollutants are being discharged.
  • Enhancement to habitat and recreational aspects of the local streams, drainage-ways and adjoining areas.
  • Review of the City's ordinances and political processes to promote and incorporate water quality friendly developments and practices.
  • Development of a set of Best Management Practices to be followed by the City and its contractors in performing routine work within the City.
In 2015, the MDEQ began issuing individualized NPDES Permits that were specific to each community. The NPDES permits gave each community authority to discharge storm water from their separate storm water drainage system to the waters of the State of Michigan.

The permit was based on an application submitted in 2013 that encompassed the City's previous efforts, policies and programs and incorporated them into a document which then became the City of East Lansing's Stormwater Management Plan.

Again, the GLRC took the lead in helping to develop the guidelines for addressing the requirements of the new individual NPDES Permits.

Report Environmental Pollution Emergencies

The Michigan Pollution Emergency Alerting System (PEAS) hosts a 24-hour hotline at (800) 292-4706. The hotline, which is managed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, is used to report environmental pollution emergencies.