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State rejects company plans to stop sediment from getting into Detroit River

Courtesy Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is giving two companies in Detroit until this Friday to come up with a new protections for the Detroit River. Two previous plans have been rejected as inadequate.

A dock collapsed along the Detroit River in November. EGLE instructed Revere Dock, LLC and Detroit Bulk Storage to submit an interim plan to keep further aggregate rock and soil from getting into the river.

“By this Friday, we expect them to give us the information that we need and some suggestions that we hope that they can do to remedy some of the concerns that we have,” EGLE spokesman Nick Assendelft said.

One of the problems is a 400 feet long, 20 feet deep silt curtain designed to keep soil and other material from getting into the river.

“We have some concerns about whether that is performing satisfactorily or not. So we want more information on how they think they can make sure that that is working up to what it's expected to do,” Assendelft explained.

Another issue is a sinkhole which is developing. EGLE believes it is allowing additional aggregate and contaminated soil to get into the river.

The site of the dock collapse is near a water intake for the Great Lakes Water Authority which serves Detroit and communities in surrounding counties. So far GLWA tests show there has been now impact to water quality.

Once EGLE is satisfied with an interim plan, a long term restoration plan has to be turned into the agency by the end of next month.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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