There will likely be some odors produced during excavation of the MGP byproducts. The MGP byproducts often have an odor similar to creosote or mothballs. The chemicals that produce these odors typically do so at very low levels and there is usually no health risk from breathing the air. However, as a precaution, MichCon will conduct a Perimeter Air Monitoring Program during the clean-up. Air quality at the site will be monitored in real-time for the MGP byproducts and for dust. If the MGP byproducts or dust is detected in the air around the site at levels that might become harmful, corrective actions will be implemented or the work will be stopped until the levels fall within acceptable levels.
We are implementing several types and layers of site control to make sure our site activities are minimally disruptive within the community. We will deploy silt curtain, oil boom, barriers, and signage within the river to control impacts along the river. The Perimeter Air Monitoring Program and the use of odor suppressants will minimize any odors or impacts to air quality. We have also coordinated our trucking route with the City of Ann Arbor to minimize the effects of the additional truck traffic. A wheel washing station and street sweepers will ensure that dust and soils are not tracked out of the site.
Unfortunately, many large trees along the riverbank on the eastern portion of the property must be removed in order to completely excavate the impacted site soils. We have worked with the City’s Forester and Natural Preservationist to develop a Natural Features Plan for the site that will compensate for the loss of trees. Not only will more than 200 native trees be planted on-site, but we are planting bands of native shrubs and sedges and grasses along the river to provide high-quality riparian habitat. We are also installing rounded glacial stones along the river bank to stabilize the channel and provide high-quality fish habitat.
We are coordinating all our activities within the river with Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation and Livery staff. We only anticipate that brief closures of the Cascades, mainly when we are removing trees along the river bank or when we are installing our site controls in the river. We will ask that paddlers and tubers only turn downstream once they leave the Cascades in order to stay clear of our upstream work. This will be especially important while we are installing the new white water features in the river, upstream of the Cascades’ exit into the river.
Our focus now is on completing this phase of remediation safely and effectively. When that work is complete the site will be secured while we consider options for its future use. We believe the site has potential to be a catalyst for investment and economic activity and that it can be a resource for public enjoyment. We are committed to working with the city government and other stakeholders as we consider options for its future use.
MichCon has performed extensive sampling, testing and human health risk assessment work in preparation for the remediation. The section of river in front of the Broadway Site poses no health risks to adults or children using the Huron River for recreation either before or during construction.
During remediation MichCon is committed to protecting the safety of those using the river around our remediation project. As described in FAQ #2 and #4, we are utilizing numerous methods and layers of site control and are closely coordinating our efforts with City Parks and Recreation and Livery Staff in order to protect public safety during the construction. At specific times, access may be limited to parts of the Huron River and the Mill Race in order to protect the public from construction activity.