The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is holding a Public Engagement Webinar to teach the public how to participate in the air permit approval process. The two-part webinar will be held via Zoom on the afternoons of Sept. 14 and 15, 2021, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Webinar participants will learn about opportunities to engage in environmental issues in their neighborhood or city. Specifically, participants will learn about permit applications or renewals, the stages of environmental rule development and how to play an active role in air permits issued in their area. The information provided during the webinar will assist the public with making effective comments at the various public input stages. It will also highlight other opportunities for public input for DNR rules and permits.

“Air pollution regulations can seem intimidating,” said Kristin Hart, DNR Air Permitting Section Chief. “The drafters of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments viewed public participation as a central part of the permitting process. The goal of this webinar is to demystify the permitting process and help citizens and neighborhood groups understand their role in it.”

A variety of instructors and speakers will lead participants through the process of finding, reviewing and responding to real permit documents. Some topics will provide opportunities for small group discussions and will include hands-on practice and examples. Other topics will focus on community organizing and forming effective relationships.

“The opportunity to provide public comments is a vital part of the air permitting process,” said John Mooney, Region 5 Air and Radiation Division Director. “EPA encourages people to use this training to gain a better understanding of how public comments and air permits work, and we appreciate the DNR’s efforts to promote community engagement.”

Register for the webinar opening on July 25, 2021 using the link here. Registration is limited to the first 250 participants. If printed materials or materials in an alternate format are needed, register by August 25, 2021. Additional information, including the full webinar agenda and the registration form, are available here.