Funding has been approved for an investigation of soil on Green Oak Township property that could contain contaminants.

The township purchased 3.35 acres off of Rushton Road, north of 9 Mile Road, in the late 1990s’, but officials didn’t do their due diligence, according to current Supervisor Mark St. Charles. Shortly after the purchase, a significant amount of steel and tires were found on the vacant land. St. Charles says there wasn’t anything “too glaring”, but that there was some concern because the property is adjacent to wetlands.

The township considered selling the parcel in 2008 and conducted minor testing, which found heavy metals about four feet below the surface. After some preliminary work, St. Charles says the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality felt the township should “not exasperate the problem”. However the MDEQ recently requested (see document below) an investigation of the site, which will be conducted by Hydro-Logic Associates. The scope of work performed by the environmental program will include soil boring, well installation to monitor groundwater, collection of sediment, groundwater, and surface water samples, determine direction of groundwater flow, and preparation of a final report.

On Wednesday, the township’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a work plan budget of $60,000 for the investigation activities. St. Charles says it’s not typical for heavy metals to seep into groundwater, but believes it’s important to confirm they have not because of the proximity to wetlands.

Following Hydro-Logic’s analysis, the MDEQ will direct the township on how to move forward based on test results. St. Charles says the goal is to begin the work before the rainy season. (DK)