Anti-Pipeline Group Claims Tainted Water Is Spilling Into Wetland
October 13, 2017
A grassroots anti-pipeline group is alleging that hundreds of gallons of a water/gasoline mix have been spilling into a wetland area near Pinckney.
The group ET Go Home issued a press release Thursday saying that a senior official at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirmed by smell the presence of gasoline in water emanating from the construction of the ET Rover pipeline. The group says that local residents noticed an ongoing water spill on the Rover pipeline construction easement on Dexter Townhall Road, near the border between Livingston and Washtenaw counties, at a place where the route construction crosses a wetland. The residents estimated that hundreds of gallons of water per minute were spilling over the silt-fence reservoir meant to temporarily contain water moving from one wetland to another. On Tuesday, the residents say they noticed that the still-spilling water smelled strongly of gasoline. They bottled a sample, took photos and video, and reported the smell to the Michigan DEQ, the federal EPA pollution hotline, and FERC.
ET Go Home says a MDEQ representative arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and that while he did not have a water testing kit with him, confirmed that the water smelled like gasoline. The group says that was backed up on Thursday when MDEQ Senior Environmental Quality Analyst Rebecca Taylor arrived at the easement to test the water, and “confirmed by nose with certainty that the leaking water contains gasoline.”
Test results won’t be available until next week. However, nearby residents like Matthew Borke, say they are concerned about the danger the allegedly-tainted water may pose to the wetland’s wildlife in the meantime, especially since they say that the wetland flows into the Huron River watershed, which supplies drinking water to the city of Ann Arbor. (JK)