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The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is hosting an informational meeting about the contamination at the former Silver Lake Grocery.

EGLE sent out notification on Oct. 9, to different interested parties, about the “informational public meeting regarding the EGLE-funded cleanup of historical gasoline contamination at the former Silver Lake Grocery (11100 Cedar Drive, Pinckney, MI 48169).”

The notification said:

“Because of public interest surrounding the site, EGLE is hosting an informational town hall meeting to inform the public about potential risks, the history of the site, and plans for future work, followed by a question-and-answer session.”

The meeting is being held at 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Dexter Township Hall, 6880 Dexter-Pinckney Road. EGLE noted the capacity of the venue is approximately 50 people and currently the meeting is not intended to be hybrid.

The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to EGLE to learn more and connected with Christopher Svoboda, a Geologist with EGLE in the Remediation and Redevelopment Division, out of the Jackson District Office.

STN asked him what the issue at the location is.

Svoboda said, “A gasoline storage tank leaked underground when the site was used as a gas station. The contamination was discovered in late 2017 when Rover constructed a pipeline nearby that used dewatering wells with large pumps. Dewatering created conditions that allowed contaminated groundwater to move toward the pumps. EGLE identified the former gas station as the source.”

STN asked how long ago the contamination took place. He said it was likely in the 1970s until about 1980, when the store ceased operating as a fueling station.

After it was a gas station, for a long time that location was a little grocery store. Currently, the property is occupied, and one person lives there.

STN asked about neighboring properties and Svoboda said “EGLE, in cooperation with the Washtenaw County Health Department, sampled nearby residential drinking water wells in 2017-2020. EGLE found no impacts above health-based criteria.”

In answering the question, what’s the plan moving forward, Svoboda said “EGLE funded an excavation in summer 2023 to remove contaminated source soils. The gasoline chemicals should biodegrade naturally, especially with much of the source soil removed. EGLE applied a material called PetroFix to the walls and floor of the excavation, which aids microbes in breaking down gasoline chemicals more rapidly. The next steps are expanding the network of wells on- and off-site to monitor biodegradation. EGLE also plans to replace the on-site water well.”

The information meeting is being held at 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

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