On Sep 13, 2021, EGLE hosted a virtual Town Hall to introduce their team of specialists who are delving into the types and levels of pollution that are suspected to be found on Harbor Island. Harbor Island’s legacy is an unfortunate combination of intentional pollution (in the form of an old city dump) and accidental or overlooked impacts of electricity generation and river dredging throughout the years. Among others, the team included a geologist, a toxicologist, a water quality expert, and was in fact interdepartmental, with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services staff also being involved.

The meeting was quite informative and well facilitated by City Manager Pat McGinnis, and while this is not a topic anyone likes to discuss, it is imperative that the City of Grand Haven is fully informed of the volume and severity of legacy pollution. The preliminary reports have found PFAS and PFOA in the majority of sampling wells installed by EGLE, though not all of them tested positive, and one tested within what is considered a safe limit by the state. The Department shared that they had also taken bluegill samples from the Grand River near the site of known contamination, and would have results of the fish testing some time in early 2022.

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