The need to preserve our environment is widely accepted in today’s society, but it hasn’t always been that way. Years before public interest in the environment became wide-spread, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) was already focused on “environmental concerns” in a variety of ways.
In 1974, RCOC began addressing the environmental impacts of road construction and other work on, near or in the right of way of county roads. That process evolved into today’s Department of Planning and Environmental Concerns (PEC).
The department works to ensure compliance with federal and state environmental laws, regulations and practices. PEC’s responsibilities include a broad scope of environmental-related issues that can range from obtaining the proper permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for our road projects to satisfying federal and state hazardous waste requirements.
The department is also responsible for other procedures such as managing RCOC’s soil-erosion program, maintaining compliance with the Oakland County Water Resources Commission’s (OCWRC) storm-water permit, overseeing wetland-related activities on road projects, administering the Adopt-A-Road and Natural Beauty Road programs and assisting with a multitude of other environmental-related concerns.
During the planning and design phase of a road project, PEC is responsible for historic reviews and the preservation of historic properties along our roadways. RCOC wants to ensure that our treasured properties from the past are preserved for future generations to enjoy. Also during the development of a road project, the department conducts threatened and endangered species assessments for species that may potentially be impacted by the project.
RCOC has two programs we encourage you to participate in: the Adopt-A-Road program and The Natural Beauty Road designation.
Volunteers can apply to “Adopt-A-Road” in order to keep the roadside clean and attractive. These community-spirited volunteers have removed tons of roadside trash throughout the years, making the road-side environment more appealing. When citizens adopt a road, it allows more time for RCOC employees to meet other needs along with saving limited RCOC funds that can be used in other much-needed areas.
Once they have applied and been accepted to the Adopt-A-Road program, volunteers are trained and receive safety vests, litter bags and a road-side sign with the group’s name recognizing their community service. To apply to the program, please call (248) 645-2000, ext. 2254, or click on the Adopt-A-Road link above. This program is a great way to give back to your community and makes our county a better place to drive.
The Natural Beauty Road Act
Under the Natural Beauty Road Act, RCOC has the authority to designate unique roads in order to preserve natural surroundings and plant life. After a designation is requested, an environmental concerns specialist carefully assesses the location and determines if the road is eligible.
If the road is eligible, the specialist will assist with the application process and will conduct the required public hearing. To submit a road for consideration for Natural Beauty Road designation, please call (248) 645-2000, ext. 2254, or click on the Natural Beauty Road link above.
RCOC is devoted to maintaining a clean and healthy environment for this and future generations. We strive to make this county a better place to live and work, and we appreciate all your help and support.
If you have an environmental issue, question or concern, please contact us at (248) 645-2000, ext. 2254. If there is an emergency such as a hazardous-materials spill, please contact our Department of Customer Service at (877) 858-4804 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. weekdays, at (248) 858-4895 after hours or on the weekends, or contact the OCWRC’s 24-hour Pollution Hotline at (248) 858-0931.