Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) in collaboration with the City of Muskegon Heights,successfully obtained a $200,000 grant form the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to assist in the expansion of a medical facility. The expansion required the acquisition and redevelopment of a contaminated property formerly utilized as an auto repair and sales shop.
Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) was contracted to determine the feasibility of converting an existing sand mine into a LEED residential and commercial development utilizing sustainable concepts. Conceptual planning involved a review of zoning documents, an evaluation of potential environmental concerns, and a renewable energy use assessment. Based on the findings from the conceptual planning, recommendations were made identifying three alternative land-use plans, which incorporated wind, solar and geothermal energy applications, LEED residential and commercial structures, native landscaping, previous surface features, and sustainable sewer and water supply systems.
State regulators awarded Lakeshore Environmental the contract to clean up groundwater contamination at a former dry cleaning facility. Dry cleaning solvents at this EPA Superfund site were threatening the quality of local drinking water supplies and the ecological stability of a “blue ribbon” trout stream and national wild and scenic river. Lakeshore’s responsibilities included the following tasks:
- Monitoring well installations
- Collection of soil samples
- Produced geologic cross-sections illustrating soil lithology and groundwater flow
- Determined the horizontal and vertical extents of contamination
- Upgraded previously installed recovery equipment
- Continuously monitored contamination levels, adjusted recovery equipment to maximize effectiveness of remediation efforts
- Worked in unison with the state regulators to monitor the extent of contamination
- Measured groundwater drawdown to define the product capture zone and analyze treatment effectiveness
The project has resulted in the successful capture of the plume and contamination has not reached the river.
An equipment malfunction at a retail gasoline filling station resulted in an underground product release. Lakeshore Environmental determined the source of the release, the extent of free product plume, and the extent of groundwater and soil contamination. Lakeshore’s quick response resulted in the immediate recovery of most of the spilled gasoline. This recovered product was refined and sold as vehicle fuel. Lakeshore completed the following response activities:
- Monitored public storm and sanitary sewers for petroleum infiltration
- Represented the owner at contentious municipal and public meetings
- Determined horizontal and vertical extents of contamination through monitoring wells and soil sampling
- Inspected adjacent properties for evidence of contamination
- Designed and installed the system that recovered over 25,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline
- Reduced the owner’s liability through reduction of punitive fines and negotiated with insurance adjusters
- Remedied the site to a level of “no remaining contamination.”
As a result of the project’s success, Lakeshore wrote the municipality’s first groundwater ordinance, addressing well abandonment and groundwater containment protocol.
The world headquarters of an international automotive supplier contracted Lakeshore Environmental for guidance in preparing permits and programs to meet state and federal environmental regulatory and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Lakeshore navigated through the maze of regulatory requirements, minimizing the required submittals. After a series of onsite surveys, interviews and monitoring, the client was provided:
OSHA compliance and training seminars
Wastewater monitoring and wastewater quality reports
Annual SARA Title III (Community Emergency and Community Right-to-Know) reports
Spill and storm water contingency plans
Obtained air quality permits
A computerized compliance tracking system
Lakeshore’s industrial compliance experts met the client’s immediate needs in a timely and cost effective manner. To facilitate compliance, Lakeshore developed a tracking system to assist with compliance submittals.
Michigan’s shallow aquifers are located in a variety of soils placed underground through the activities of ancient glaciers or the activity of man through backfilling. As a result, the hydrogeology of many facilities in the state is complicated by varying layers of brick, wood, clay, silt, sand and gravel.
The staff of experienced geologists, hydrogeologists, and scientists at Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) assisted a northern Michigan specialty crop food processor in the completion of a hydrogeological study and remedial investigation which provided the information needed by state regulators to avoid penalty and obtain a groundwater discharge permit. This scenario is common in all parts of Michigan and LEI has demonstrated effective geological interpretation at a variety of facilities.
On behalf of a private mining company, Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) obtained a $15,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to eradicate invasive plant species (phragmites) that had overtaken an area of coastal waterfront known for its diverse migratory shorebird habitat.
The grant funds, along with an additional private investment of $5,000, were utilized to eliminate the phragmites, restore native vegetation, conduct educational workshops, and devise a long-term invasive species management plan for the mining company.
Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) assisted a West Michigan waterfront community in obtaining a $24,000 grant through the Coastal Zone Management Program administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
The grant was used to compile local water quality data in a centralized document, conduct local workshops to educate the public on water quality concerns and remedies, and create a Clean Water Legacy Plan for future community waterfront planning efforts.
Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) was awarded a research grant from the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation to conduct an assessment of groundwater age and rate of recharge using environmental tracers. The goal of the grant project was to determine the sustainability of groundwater use at a specific Muskegon County location.
LEI installed numerous shallow and deep nested monitoring wells at a large property for the purpose of collecting groundwater samples for laboratory analysis of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-11, -12, and -113 parameters – key groundwater age indicators. During recharge, water picks up a CFC signature based on the atmospheric concentration of CFCs, and groundwater retains its characteristic CFC concentration.
Laboratory analytical results indicated that the groundwater age in the shallow wells ranged from 21 years to 43 years and the groundwater age for the deep wells was approximately 58 years. The topographic and hydraulic gradients, groundwater elevation data, and laboratory data indicate that the younger, shallow water mixes with the deeper older groundwater near the point of discharge.
The results of this research could aid in creating sustainable development concepts and decrease disruption to the aquifer recharge and the natural interaction of the groundwater/surface water interface. Based on the results of this study, LEI has been retained by two businesses to assess whether their processes involving groundwater usage is sustainable. This interest supports the growing concern for a sustainable water supply for current and future generations.