Our first regular public meeting was held Thursday, August 15, at the Rockford Freshman Center. Betsy Nightingale (EPA) and Abby Hendershott (Michigan EGLE – formerly DEQ) were our featured speakers charged with bringing attendees up to date regarding recent progress and planned activities. Brent Ritchie (Mannik & Smith Group, an EPA contractor) was also on hand to address technical details.
A perimeter fence has been scheduled for installation at the House Street site to better isolate that property from adjoining parcels. The scope of work involving potential contamination removal is still under development.
However, soil and waste removal will soon begin near the former tannery site. Affected materials are close enough to the surface to potentially contact people in several public access areas. This includes areas of the White Pine Trail as well as near-shore sediments in the Rogue River (adjacent to the tannery site). Work crews are anticipated to mobilize after Labor Day.
Work on the trail and river will require affected areas to be temporarily closed to public use. Containment measures will be used on the river. Trail restoration will result in some areas of fresh pavement.
Elsewhere, additional test wells have recently been drilled at Rockford’s Community Cabin. Regulators hope that the CAG can help forewarn the community about similar developments in the future.
The meeting was covered in local news by MLive.