The Grand Haven Board of Power & Light, a coal-burning power plant located on Harbor Island, continues to allow numerous, very large piles of coal to sit uncovered on the property. When the wind blows, the coal is lifted from the piles and distributed throughout the immediate area — landing on cars, boats and anything else within its reach.
The most notable example of the extensive pollution and damage is at The Wharf Marina and Grand Haven Yacht Club, located across the Grand River's south channel from the property. Almost every week, the boats and cars in the marina are coated with an unsightly layer of coal dust that permanently destroys canvas, etc., and requires extensive cleaning to remove.
To understand the magnitude of this problem, imagine if a cartridge of copier toner was sprinkled on your home and car every week. The coal dust is black and heavy, and permeates everything in the area.
I'm not writing to debate the topic of coal emissions or the use of coal as a means to power the Grand Haven area. While most would agree it's an antiquated approach to powering the grid, it's a decision that's been made by the city leaders and I accept it. My objection, which is shared by dozens of others in the area, is the plant's decision to allow large, uncovered piles of coal to sit on the property and be subjected to the elements.
I'm publicly challenging the BLP to find a solution to cover the coal piles. A simple roof or even tarps could remedy the problem, prevent the spread of coal dust throughout the area, and ultimately end the extensive damage to personal property.
— Jerry DiTrapani, Spring Lake Township