February 2020 CAG Meeting – Minutes

Wolverine Community Advisory Group

Full CAG Meeting
Plainfield Charter Township Hall
6161 Belmont Ave NE, Belmont MI 49306 

Thursday, February 13, 2020  6pm

Attendees:  Tammy Bergstrom, AJ Birkbeck, Carol Butts, Jenny Carney, Lance Climie, Linda Goossen, Elaine Isely, Fletcher Johnson, Tom Konecsni, Gail Mancewicz, Susan Marschell, Grant Medich, Jonathan Miner, Wendy Ogilvie, Jim Powell, Rick Rediske, Tom Sapkowski, Doug Sarno, Mike Shibler, Rick Solle, Cameron VanWyngarden, Jamie Vaughn, Sandy Wynn-Stelt

Guests:  EPA Shawn, Danielle Allison-Yokom 

Estimated Number of Public Attendees:  12


Update on Tannery Site:

  • Excavation work is anticipated to be complete by 2/28/20
    • Some leather, hides, scraps are being left – those that are found more than 1’ down and/or within the sediment of the riverbed.  
    • There were spots which had unexpectedly deeper layers of material (some 10’ deep or more) – WWW did take the opportunity in some of those locations to remove more material than required
    • After material is excavated a permeable layer is laid down, this is to indicate to workers in the future that this is the location where materials were removed until
    • Untanned hides were found and once uncovered, gave off ammonia but remained in safe levels
  • Excavated materials brought to Stericycle in Toledo, OH to date:
    • 18,071 tons / 648 truckloads of non-hazardous waste (co-mingled hides, soil, root balls, etc) 
    • 372 tons / 16 truckloads of hazardous (lead) waste 
    • 2,176 tons / 94 truckloads of hazardous (chromium) waste
  • Continued safety measures
    • Street sweeps have been routinely ran down the truck route through town
    • Each truck inspected prior to leaving the property to ensure no material is falling off the truck, stuck in the tires, etc
  • Areas:
    • Sediment in and around the boat launch complete
    • Islands were previously investigated for contamination and were non-detect
      • Comments were made regarding visible scraps on the islands, EPA said they will look into doing an additional sweep of the islands to determine if action will be needed
    • Opposite side of the river from the Tannery was tested using a grid method, likely due to the hydrology of the river, there was not any materials found to remove
    • Comments were made regarding the need to investigate contamination to the north of the site being cleaned up currently
  • Reminder that the work being done now by EPA is “time critical” to eliminate direct contact and potential harm to the public
    • Long term phase will be conducted by EPA/EGLE/WWW 
    • The entire site will be fenced off (all the way to the edge of the property line), the fence will remain until a long-term plan has been developed and implemented
  • Restoration Phase
    • Spring 2020
    • White Pine Trail will re-open
    • CAG is requesting the Restoration Plan for review and input
    • Will include upland and lowland species, hope to also see native plants 
    • Rip rap will include rocks and logs
  • Diane Russell – obtain presentation given by Shawn to share with group and post on webpage

Consent Decree – EGLE, Plainfield Twp & Algoma Twp and WWW

  • The Attorney General’s office will be accepted public comment until 5pm 2/13
  • The public comments will be compiled and responded to 
    • The response document will be sent to all who added their email address to the sign-up sheet at the 2/10 meeting, those who provided it on their submittal and posted on the AG’s and EGLE’s websites
    • The CAG will post the response document to the website and facebook page
  • EGLE reiterated that this would be the only comment period which would be on such short order, other comment periods will be 30 days
    • EGLE will bring all work with comment periods to the CAG for review 
  • The CAG will work on simplifying the timeline and work to be done outlined in the Consent Decree and post on the website 
  • Danielle Allison-Yokom at the Attorney General’s office – send the presentation given 2/10, emailing to info@wolverinecag.org, will share with group and upload to website

CAG Communications Follow Up 

  • Video clips for the website and Facebook
    • Leadership Team – 3min group video, completed by the end of February
      • Include in video: CAG purpose, goals, how the CAG formed, what the CAG does, when/where the CAG meets
    • Individual CAG members – 1min video per person
      • Include in video: personal story, why we are a member, how were affected/who we are
  • Beyond the Rock, Rockford High School’s video studio will create the video clips
  • Mike Shibler will be the point person for scheduling time for CAG members and the students
    • Elaine Isely will find a number of dates that the class can be available and facilitate signing up CAG members to the available timeslots
  • Students are available Mon-Fri at 1:30pm at Rockford High School

Upcoming Events

  • 2/20/20 at U of M, PBB to PFAS Conference
    • Sandy Wynn-Stelt is participating on the group panel, Jenny Carney is presenting a poster “Fighting Environmental Contamination from the Ground Up”
  • 3/21/20 at MSU, Fate of the Earth Conference
    • See Jenny Carney for more information
  • 10/27/20 & 10/28/20 at the Lansing Center, EGLE PFAS Conference
    • Rick Rediske will draft and submit an abstract for CAG’s potential participation in the event

March 19, 2020 CAG Meeting Agenda Suggestions

  • Discuss the Rogue River Restoration Plan
    • Technical Committee to review and present their response
    • Diane Russell will obtain the plan and send to group
  • MCL Standards Update
  • Consent Decree Update (should be filed and signed by Judge Neff by meeting date)
  • North Kent Health Study (to begin June 2020)
    • Presentation by Health Department 
    • Linda Goossen, Sandy Wynn-Stelt and Jenny Carney are members of the Stakeholder group 

Upcoming Meeting Dates 

  • Thursday, March 19
  • Thursday, April 16
  • Thursday, May 21
  • Thursday, June 18
  • Thursday, July 16
  • Thursday, August 20
  • Thursday, September 17
  • Thursday, October 15
  • Thursday, November 19
  • Thursday, December 17