ONGOING ASSESSMENT AT BELANGER PARK, GREAT LAKES ATHLETIC FIELDS AND JOHN JAKUBOWSKI PARK
As noted in our previous Press Release in April 2023, the City completed a limited environmental testing program to assess certain public properties potentially susceptible to impact from airborne deposition of particulate or other pollutants generated by planned demolition activities at DTE’s nearby coal-fired power plant as well as surrounding heavy industry. The properties consisted of Belanger Park, John Jakubowski Park, and the Great Lakes Athletic Fields (GLAFs).
In working cooperatively with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the U.S. EPA funded and completed additional sampling and testing at Belanger Park and GLAFs. The U.S. EPA findings at Belanger Park were consistent with the initial preliminary assessment completed by the City, and further support the City’s action to limit use of the park to boat launching and fishing along the wharf. Similarly, the U.S. EPA findings at the GLAFs indicate that the surface soils do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health; however, the soils at a depth of greater than six inches within a limited area represent a potential health risk associated with direct contact or ingestion of Lead contaminated soils. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, the City has installed fencing at the GLAFs restricting access to the affected subsurface area.
As for John Jakubowski Park, there was only one initial sample location which exceeded the applicable regulatory threshold requiring address by the City and that location was remediated by the City.
The City has and continues to work with the U.S. EPA, EGLE, and MDHHS in pursuit of funding for further evaluation so that a final remedy can be designed and implemented as deemed appropriate at each of the sites.
The City will continue disseminating additional factual information on a going forward basis.
Last modified: August 22, 2023