Douglas Completes Corrective Action On Spoils Spill Site; DEQ To Inspect Work
The City of Douglas has taken all the corrective measures required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) over the spoils spill at the wetland area southwest of Ferry and Center streets, Douglas officials recently announced.
“We received confirmation from the DEQ that the measures taken are satisfactory and my understanding is that one of their representatives will do an on-site inspection at some point this month,” said Community and Economic Development Director Ryan Kilpatrick on Tuesday.
The spoils came from the dredging done as part of the Union Street boat launch improvements in March for which the city received a DEQ permit to conduct.
However, the spoils were not properly dewatered before being disposed of on a site above wetlands, causing it to run downhill into a pond located next to Center Street.
“All of the material that was deposited on site was tested before it was dredged from the Kalamazoo River. The material is considered to be clean by the DEQ and poses no environmental or health threats at that site,” said Kilpatrick.
Notwithstanding the fact the dredged material was found not to contain potentially harmful contaminants, it was an incident that that prompted the DEQ to issue a violation against the city and require an immediate cleanup.
However, city officials said that in late April heavy rainfall had made the remedial efforts quite challenging, and therefore, could not get to the work right away.
“Our contractor, Ron Meyer & Associates, was responsible for dewatering the soil after it was dredged and before it was moved to the upland site. Unfortunately, the soils were not properly dewatered. In the future, we need to plan to provide an onsite containment facility for dredged soils to be properly dewatered before removing or relocating the clean material,” said Kilpatrick.
Remedial steps taken by the city includes removal of the material that migrated down the slope and into the lowland area; the installation of a silt fence to reduce and eliminate further erosion; and the slope of the hillside where the dumping took place has been seeded as a way to stabilize the land.