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March 18, 2019 1:33 pm

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More Setbacks Confront Douglas City Council In Its Contamination Efforts

“We have hit a stalemate with RJ (Peterson),” Kalamazoo Harbor Authority Secretary Lisa Greenwood said regarding the once proposed collaboration between the Harbor Authority and Peterson’s Tower Marine facility for a proper dredge spoils storage location at the marina site.

Greenwood, who also serves on the Douglas City Council, made her comments during Monday’s council meeting. She said the harbor authority is now reverting to its original plan.

“Even though it is more costly, we are (now) looking at a CDF (confined disposal facility) at Kal- Lake (Kalamazoo Lake Sewer Water Authority [KLSWA]),” said Greenwood.

The news comes as another unsurprising blow in a series of setbacks the harbor authority has faced in attempting to get its $2 million emergency dredging program off ground.

The proposal was planned for this summer, but progress has been slow.

The authority first faced inclement weather, including freezing waters, in taking soil samples. Then the authority found it to be a complicated matter to coordinate which contractor would do what and how, including work on a biometric survey and more work related to complying with Michigan’s Department of Environment Quality’s guidelines.

A CDF seeks to confine contaminated sediments found in the harbor, although experts have indicated that overall contamination in the harbor, including PCBs and arsenic, are at a low level.

The size and design of each CDF is site-specific and dictated by the location, the nature and potential amount of sediments it will contain, as well as how it will function once it is full or no longer receiving dredged material, according to the Great Lakes Dredging Team.

Not until recently, Tower Marine’s dredging-spoils facility was being linked to a cost-saving measure in the tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, for the authority because the facility is close to dredging site.

A CDF at KLSWA, the local water treatment and sewer plant, requires the sediment be pumped out and transported two miles through a network of pipes.

Although the facility would extend into property owned by the City of Douglas and St. Peter Catholic Church if it is ever approved and implemented, both harbor authority representatives and Peterson said the project would provide public benefits, including a public open space made possible through a grading plan, top soil and grass seed coverage.

More Setbacks Confront Douglas City Council In Its Contamination Efforts

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