State Guidelines Issued to Assist Midland-area Residents with Clean Up


Water floods the Midland Area Farmers Market and the bridge along the Tittabawassee River in Midland, Mich. on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Kaytie Boomer/ Bay City Times via AP)

Midland, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is offering basic guidance on how to manage debris following the aftermath of massive flooding in Midland resulting from dam failure.

From addressing immediate hazards to exploring disposal options, EGLE is urging residents to follow guidelines set by the state.

“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 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 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
  • 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
  • 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, visit:

Additional resources: 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar