EMU to apply for environmental grant

Eastern Michigan University’s Board of Regents held a special meeting on Wednesday at Welch Hall to briefly discuss the recommendation to approve EMU’s submission of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Storm Water Asset Management and Waste Water (SAW) grant application.

All board members were in approval of the recommendation.

According to its website, MDEQ’s mission statement is as follows: “The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality promotes wise management of Michigan’s air, land, and water resources to support a sustainable environment, healthy communities, and vibrant economy.”

“This demonstrates best practices for how we handle the discharge of our sanitary and storm effluent into the community,” EMU’s vice president of operations and facilities, John Donegan, said.
“This gives us an opportunity to work with the state and receive some supplemental funding to
make sure we’re doing things absolutely the best we can.”

Donegan also said that the grant would benefit the campus because it will help to identify the storm and sanitary sewers on the main campus.

“Then we’re going to put together a plan based on what we find, like if there’s any deficiencies or conditions that need to be corrected,” he said. “It’s a pretty significant project for us.”

Donegan explained that the grant would be used to set up flow meters, measure our storm effluent going into the Huron River basin and study how our waste gets to the sanitary treatment plant.

“If there’s improvements that need to be made, we’re going to make those,” he said.
“I think it’s exciting, dynamic and wonderful,” Regent Mary Treder Lang said about the MDEQ recommendation. “It’s moving us forward.”

Leigh Greden, EMU’s vice president of government and community relations said in an email, “If the grant is awarded, it will provide significant funding from the state that will allow the university to do extensive engineering work related to storm water management, which affects every aspect of the university, especially parking.”

“We hope to hear from the state in April or May,” Greden said about obtaining the grant. “Although this is a competitive process, we believe that the university is well-positioned.”

The next Board of Regents meeting will be held on Dec. 10 at Welch Hall, room 201 at 1:30 p.m.?

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