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HomeEnvironmentEGLE Grants Extension To DNR For Greenland Twp

EGLE Grants Extension To DNR For Greenland Twp

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The Michigan Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has granted a one-year extension to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to comply with the terms of a violation notice issued late last year.

The extension will allow for DNR officials to coordinate with a well driller and to account for the impending snow and frost season, EGLE director Eric J. Oswald noted in a Sept. 25 letter to the DNR.

At issue is what EGLE defines as an informal drinking spigot located along the Bill Nichols Rail Trail that has been used for decades for drinking water and other uses by locals and passersby.

An October 4, 2023 press release stated that last year, EGLE said the water could not be considered safe unless the source of the water could be located and inspected. There is a sign posted at the spigot warning the public not to drink the water.

The DNR has worked with many partners over the past several months to successfully locate the source of the water, which was located about a half-mile away from the spigot, where a main accessed a suspected artesian water resource underground. Michael Kocher, Ontonagon County Emergency Services director, concurred.

“Working with the DNR has actually been very, very positive,” said Kocher. “I can say that from my position as the County emergency manager, along with the (Greenland) Township officials.”

Where it became more difficult, Kocher said, was that the DNR decided it was not in the business of delivering water.

“Obviously, the DNR inherited this,” said Kocher, “and they want — and I believe this — they truly want to make things right.”

Where the problem originates seems to be with EGLE.

EGLE originally said the water could not be used because its source could not be determined. That was subsequently resolved in the Annual Report for the Lake Copper Company for 1909/1910. In the report of the Superintendent, T.H. Bennett.

Bennett wrote that in March 1910, a 4-inch pipe was driven 186 feet vertically through clay and quicksand to a bed of gravel, where a considerable flow of water was encountered which reached the surface under a head of about 28 feet, sufficient to “enable us to pipe it about the location for domestic use.”

EGLE then made the determination that the piping and the water main and pipes of the well were unsuitable for continued use because of their aged, delicate, and deteriorated condition.

“The water source was thought to have been initially tapped by the surrounding community of Lake Mine during the area’s 19th-century copper mining heyday,” the DNR release states. Bennett’s 1910 report, however, invalidates that claim.

The plan now, according to the release, is for the DNR and local officials to have a well-drilling company drill a new well closer to the homes and the trailside stop that could be developed as a safe drinking water source endorsed by EGLE. Greenland Township, though has produced proof of regularly having the water tested through White Water Associates and the tests have consistently shown the water to be safe for human consumption.

Source: The Daily Mining Gazette


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