The Clam Lake Shoreline Survey Greenbelt Report and Capacity Study are now available. Links to pdf files follow.
GUEST EDITORIAL (published in the Antrim Review 8/6/09)
Out of sight, out of mind?
To the editor:
How long does it take for a mountain to be eroded by nature and washed to sea?
Here the mountain represents the 2.5 million cubic yards of hazardous cement kiln waste, improperly buried at Bay Harbor in Petoskey.
Eroding this mountain of waste is groundwater, irrigation and precipitation. As water percolates through this waste it tranforms into an even more toxic brew-CKD leachate.
This toxic leachate then flows into the the Great Lakes.
Current plans attempt to intercept the leachate, neutralize its caustic pH with sulfuric acid and truck it off site. CMS hopes to transport 135,000 gallons of this substance into a "deep" injection well near Alba every day. A quiet un-zoned rural community with limited financial resources, Alba lies on top of the Northern Michigan Aquifer, which feeds the Jordan River Watershed, the Manistee, the AuSable, the Cedar, the Elk and others. Any mistake, in the transport or transfer of this leachate could contaminate these aquifers and have devastating effects.
There are many flaws in the methods CMS has installed and in those being proposed. It will take thousands of years to complete this cleanup under current plans. Calculate one million gallons of toxic leachate per week, collected, neutralized, transported and pumped down the Alba well over thousands of years. Trace amounts of toxic heavy metals become tons when time and volume are factored in. This is especially important with PCB's and dioxins or those that bio-accumulate like mercury.
CMS's plans are not realistic or cost effective.
It is immoral to pass these problems on to future generations and risk polluting our priceless groundwater resources.
Our cleanup plan is simple, and what should have been done in the first place.
Entomb the CKD in impervious cells at Bay Harbor. "Isolate and contain …" -just like the 2005 EPA Order says. (And to which CMS agreed).
Entombment is used worldwide and not much different from building a standard hazardous waste landfill. A hole is excavated, then lined with material that is impervious to water and CKD, which lasts forever. Excavate a portion of a CKD pile and place it into the lined hole. Once it's full, cap it with the same material as the liner and line the newly created hole in the same manner as the first. Repeat the process until all the CKD is entombed.
This halts the flow of water through the CKD piles and stops creation of leachate-no need to truck leachate anywhere, and no need for injection wells in anybody's watershed.
The entombment of CKD could be completed in just a few years and work performed year-round, off season in a sequential manner, lessening the eye-sore and minimizing the footprint. It will involve digging up the golf course and some other areas but only temporarily and not all at once. The merits of this plan far outweighs the perils of the proposed plan.
For the first time the Alba well is off the table, albeit temporarily. We have a new opportunity to seriously consider sane alternative methods for the cleanup of Bay Harbor. If CMS adopted this plan, we would endorse it and even assist.
We ask for and need your support in this endeavor. Thank you!
Dr. John W Richter President, Friends of the Jordan River Watershed East Jordan
2011 Update on Dewitt Marine Wetlands Fill Project (file lost)
by Bob Hockenberger, FoCL Board of Director
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
2013 Aquatic Plant Survey. CLICK HERE