By Sarah Cwiek, Michigan Radio
The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
The operator of a Detroit dock site that partially collapsed into the Detroit River late last year will pay the state $60,000 in fines.
The Revere Dock, which was illegally storing limestone aggregate along the river when the site collapsed in late November, 2019, has also entered into a consent agreement with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. A sinkhole also formed on the site sometime after the collapse.
That agreement lays out how Revere Dock, LLC will clean up the results of the aggregate spill, without disturbing historic contamination that lies in the riverbed and on the site, said EGLE spokesman Nick Assendelft.
“It kind of sets out that whole process so that we’re convinced when it’s all completed that it’s a safe removal of the aggregate removal, and reconstruction of the dock,” Assendelft said. “They still need to remove the aggregate material that’s in the river, so they need to make sure they have some protections in place so they can dredge that material out of the river.”
“There are a lot of things that they need to do to make sure that any kind of contamination that’s in that area does not spread farther into the Detroit River.”
EGLE issued Revere Dock a permit to proceed with its remediation plan, which also calls for dredging part of the Detroit River to allow for larger ships to dock, and building a 600-foot seawall along the riverside by Jefferson Avenue.
After the dock collapse, it was discovered that Revere Dock was operating without a proper permit from the city of Detroit. In May, the company reached an agreement with the city to obtain permits from EGLE and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to The Detroit News. Since then, Revere Dock has paid the city $63,000 to redress blight violations and other fines.
The $60,000 fine to EGLE is to be paid by October 17, according to the state. Revere Dock has until July 2021 to complete the remediation plan.
The 2019 dock collapse sparked larger fears of environmental contamination, because the site occupied by Revere Dock was once used to manufacture uranium rods for the U.S. Department of Defense. However, the government later determined there was no radiological contamination onsite, and EGLE tests after the dock collapse “registered the presence of radiation at normal background levels.”
Read more about docks and oversight on Great Lakes Now:
Featured image: Revere Dock (Photo courtesy of EGLE)