Older Agenda Items and Updates Pg 1







Proposed Agenda:  
 

March 16, 2017 

 
 
Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane - No New Near Surface Groundwater Since Last Tested Positive Last Year

Update2: MDEQ did come and take samples from the open section of Allen's Creek between Glendale Cr. and Liberty on April 5th. Result will be posted when received, normally a week to a few weeks. West Park creek with extensive upstream groundwater flows was not tested at this time. City staff have indicated this is something they would help with.


312 Glendale Dr. Memory Care Facility Development Proposal barely passed council 6-3 (6 needed to pass), more details on this to come. False and misleading statements were made at the council meeting: the curb at Hillside will block all flows to the MC, not true; the Orchard does not capture runoff from HT, not true; the Vince Caruso did the neighborhood survey, not true done by residents Vince Caruso was not directly involved; the the downstream area is not a target neighborhood for stormwater mitigation, not true according to the $2M City Wide Stormwater Study “Ann City of Ann Arbor Stormwater Model Calibration and Analysis Project”, June 1, 2015 ‘ section C, viii. Glendale/Charlton, page 62’.


Update: Kevin Lund, Senior Licensed Engineer at MDEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Division Jackson, Michigan, attended the ACWG meeting and discussed the option to do near surface groundwater (NSG) creek tests in the next week or weeks depending on weather conditions. He and the MDEQ do not want to do tests with wet weather in recent days to reduce the chance of getting samples which do not overwhelming represent groundwater. The ACWG members agreed to work with the DEQ to find good locations to do testing.


One member of the ACWG, Rita Loch-Caruso, Ph.D. U of M Professor, Environmental Health Sciences SPH and Program in the Environment, LS&A, has had discussions with Detlef Knappe, PhD (Professor of Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University) to run samples for testing if wanted or needed. He has done sampling and analysis of 1,4 D for many years. Dr. Knappe has recently asked by Dr. Loch Caruso to present at the U of M on his work and he presented on 1-17-17 (details below). They, with others, had submitted a quick turnaround grant to NIEHS to study health effects of 1,4 Dioxane which was not funded, but plan to submit another grant in the near term.


Again we reiterated the need to do testing now to determine the level of exposure that may be happening in the Westside of town. We have many homes with wet basements that is generally due in part, in most cases in larger part, to groundwater infiltration into the basement.


  • We again stated that we had assurances from the DEQ that additional near surface groundwater (NSG) tests would be done soon. At the last Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) meeting in March we were told from a DEQ representative that he will take this up with the site managers.
  • Still no indication of additional NSG tests to be conducted.
  • This shallow groundwater exposure is a clear and present danger to the community and needs immediate evaluation by state and local officials and, plans made to stop the potential exposure to the west side residents through their basements and other exposure points.
  • MDEQ had said they would wait till spring to do more near surface groundwater (NSG) tests. We questioned this plan given recent findings in NSG and they agreed to do additional tests in the near future before spring.
  • With the poor quantity, and in some cases quality, of tests done to date the city is left with very little information of the risks to exposure to residents.
  • Several blocks west of the previous 2 near surface tests, with 2 and 3 ppb, is a deep groundwater well showing 320 ppb and moving east. At Vet's Park several blocks farther west we have deep groundwater well with readings over 1,000 ppb.
  • The ACWG was instrumental in getting official to agree to do near surface and surface ground water tests, and it is important to gain an understanding of the flow of the plume and if it will be coming to the surface and where.
  • At the February CARD meeting it was noted by Matt Naud Env. Coordinator for Ann Arbor that new monitoring wells are to put in near the NE Supply Well at Montgomery and Bemije streets to determine if Pall/Gelman must pay to replace it in accordance to court agreements in past years, dependent on contamination levels in the groundwater near the well.
  • DEQ have not indicate to the CARD group the they have done the modeling for Vapor Intrusion (VI) of 1,4D as they said is necessary for including VI in the new emergency site regulatory statute. This data would be necessary to determine the level of exposure in basements that may occur. This compound VI profile would be different than most other VI compounds of concerns as it would enter structures with water and then evaporate with the water into the air. This special modeling may not have been done for any compound or just a few. U of M VI research scientists have expressed interest in studying this uncommon exposure modeling.
  • The action level for 1,4 D is 29 ppb within about 10 feet of a basement.
  • Michigan has set new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations) which would result in a 3.5 ppb standard. A 1 in 1M risk, 70 year exposure would result in a .35 ppb standard according to EPA.
  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, an animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.


APT Water HiPOx Unit Should be Evaluated Now for 1,4 Dioxane Cleanup at the Leading Edge of the Plume and Other Locations


APT Water HiPOx Unit

(Right Click for larger image)



This from Dan Bicknell, Global Environment Alliance, LLC, CARD Member, in late 2016


"The December 2004 Court Order regarding remediation of the contamination of the Unit E Aquifer had a lot of discussion on the feasibility, practicability, and political capability to have Gelman implement a groundwater extraction and treatment alternative to capture the Unit E Eastern Area plume.  The Court was presented with an extraction and treatment alternative that would require construction of a large central treatment facility and the piping of extracted groundwater great distances though residential and commercial areas.  The Court found that  such a remedy would disrupt the community and “pose significant dangers.”   Therefore, the Court did not require groundwater extraction and treatment, but rather established a Prohibition Zone, which allows the dioxane plume to further contaminate the aquifer – essentially prescribing a dilution remedy for the Eastern Area.


However, placing a groundwater extraction and treatment system within the community is feasible and practical and would not be disruptive or dangerous to the residences.  APT Water makes a compact groundwater treatment unit specifically designed to treat dioxane using basically the same technology as Gelman is using today – Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP).  The APT Water portable units are called “HiPOx” units and they have been used at many state and federal Superfund sites to treat dioxane groundwater contamination since 2007.  [Shown above open for viewing operational components] is a 50 gpm HiPOx unit.  They are relatively small.  Treated groundwater from the HiPOx unit can be discharged to storm water and/or sanitary water systems.  The units can be placed in common areas like parks, schools, etc.

 

According to an APT Water representative, in 2004 Gelman retained the company that became APT Water to conduct a Pilot Study for them using the AOP technology.  The Pilot Study demonstrated that the AOP technology would destroy the dioxane to below detection levels.  However, rather than install independent AOP units to treat the dioxane plume in the Eastern Area, Gelman used the AOP technology to modify its central treatment plant.  According to the APT Water representative, the 2004 Pilot Study did show that individual AOP units could be operated about the Eastern Area plume to extract and treat the dioxane groundwater contamination.  Such individual treatment units would not require the laying of connecting pipe through residential or commercial areas, which was the major Court concern with implementing a groundwater extraction and treatment technology in the Eastern Area.

 

This information was provided to DEQ & CARD members in 2014, including City and County staffers, in the GEA  Gelman Site – Administrative & Technical Overview"

(bold by us)

 

This information has been shared previously with other city and county officials in 2016.



312 Glendale Dr. Memory Care Facility Development Proposal - Exacerbate Flooding in the Neighborhood and Ugly - Council sent the Proposal back to Planning Commission on March 21 for Further Review

 
Results of residents neighborhood survey;
Site is to left in dark olive tone with Legend, stormwater flow to the right


Council sent the proposal back to Planning Commission on January 17.
 
Planning Commission to revisit on March 21, 7pm.
 
The ACWG as part of the neighborhood group met with Planning Official to discuss our concerns. Many of which are listed below. The issues presented by the neighborhood have not been addressed to date even with weeks having past since the meeting at city hall.
 
ACWG submitted to Council a Public Statement on this proposal and Council had comment on:


The city must consider existing tax base and, health, safety and welfare when approving development. This proposal will reduce the tax base of hundreds of homes downstream due to flood hazard and having the back of the building facing this residential neighborhood. These homes have a proven tax base,  some for close to 100 years with another 100 to come!


Zion Church addition a few years ago was forced them to come up to code and add stormwater management but city code has changed since then but some on council felt, like Zion, this parcel should be considered with the HT parcel in a more unified manner given the history of flooding downstream of this site.


The number of parking spaces requested do not match the use and seem to supplement existing Hillside Terrace (HT) employees parking.


Common ownership, common use is an issue on planning for this site. 


The ACWG brought up that the street, Jackson Place, like all city streets are designed only to flood and hold 10 year rain event, not 100 year (1% chance) as the comments of staff suggested. The stormwater will spill over the curb into MC site. Our photos from Sat. 12-10-16 show some of the curbs are sub-standard and very low, and may not even handle 5 year event let alone 10 year. The city admits often that the Allen's Creek streets currently flood and overflow, into yards and homes, on average every 1 ½ years.


The ACWG brought up that the MC plan does not seem to fully address the imperviousness of the three existing structures that are currently in this parcel according to city GIS data, two houses, garage, and drives with walks, with lots of imperviousness. It is on the same parcel and should be include in stormwater management planning.


The neighborhood group and the ACWG showed a video to Planning Commission Staff of the orchard site during a major rain event that seems to show the orchard can handle large rain events without sheet flow off the site, this even with HT runoff flowing over the Jackson Place curb into the orchard, contrary to city and county planner's comments to the Planning Commission.


Currently we have found that the orchard mitigates HT uncontrolled runoff into this over taxed neighborhood!


Flooding from the HT site occurred when first built in the 1970's. Downstream homeowners settled out of court for money damages. Adding a new building and imperiousness in this area will cause flooding.


Homes to the north of the MC site are down hill and have had flooding from the HT site in its natural state and were forced to do owner payed landscaping to try to mitigate the flows. With a new building on site flooding will be worse.


This neighborhood has been designated a Special Flood Hazard Target Area by the city in the recent City Wide Stormwater Study due to the extensive flooding. Neighbors have surveyed the 5 block area and found 50% of homes have water problems as shown above.


park with stormwater detention is the best option for the site to handle non-mitigated up stream flows including HT that are putting more and more homes at risk of flooding, a health, safety and welfare risk, and property devaluation. This opportunity should not be allowed to be missed. No other green space is west up stream of this site.


The city has said it will spend $7M to mitigate flooding in Lawton Neighborhood. The city has just bought green space easement, from a developer building new condos in Lawton, for SW detention at great cost to the city, due to residential concerns of flooding in the Lawton area.


Zoning is not clear as to why it did not lapse due to inactivity on the original zoning change proposal. It was not zoned and then zoned R4B in 1994 for HT expansion which did not go forward.


Much to large for residential neighborhood with the back facing existing single family residential. It will have a Glendale address and the back will face Glendale. This will be ugly and lower the value of Glendale homes.


Inappropriate development across the creek on Liberty St. from our house at 556 Glendale in early 2000's forced the city to spend close to $1/2M to mitigate flooding issues caused by very poor planning of a new development. In our Fair Glen Commons private park space 7 landmark trees were cut down, the woodland half cleared and an open section of the Allen's Creek enclosed in a 5'x8' 1,000' long ugly pipe. Tax return on the new homes will be 35 to 40 years before the increase tax is realized by the city. Many of the new owner occupied homes on Liberty St. that were at risk have been turned into rental units with much less value than previously.


Our city leadership seems to have become Global Warming Climate Deniers. HRWC and UM/MSU/MI Dept of Health recent published studies say we should be planning now for 500 year (0.2% chance) not 100 year storms due to Global Warming (see below). In the last year or so the city has approved over 60 new homes in the Allen's Creek Floodplain and some up next to the floodway contrary to federal opinion and, current Michigan and national scientific studies.


Studies cited above:


Report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA) Program—a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University Michigan Climate and Health Profile Report 2015 -  Building Resilience Against Climate Effects on Michigan’s Health

 

 

 

Ann Arbor Approves 102 New Homes in the Allen's Creek Floodplain in About a Year

 
A2 Recent (11-2015) Online City Map; 211 Felch St. area; Floodway in blue Floodplain in green
Condos just east of tracks, just west of floodway and south of Felch, parking over the creek in the floodway
 

5-6" Rainfall in Ann Arbor NEXRAD Estimate 3-15-12,

with Annotations, Historic Record Rainfall for AA (ACWG)

(Right Click to view larger images)


In about a year the city has approved 102 new homes in the Allen's Creek Floodplain, some up against the Floodway, some with parking lots planned to be on top of the Allen's Creek.
  • Both local and state public bodies (cited above) have come out in recommending planning to the 500 year floodplain (.2% chance) not the 100 year floodplain (1% chance). 
  • With Global Warming changes are needed in planning for larger more intense rain events.
  • Federal rules virtually disallow using federal funds for building in the 100 year floodplain, and critical structures in the 500 year floodplain.
  • President Obama discussed in 2016 that Global Warming threats as 'Terrifying', in a New York Times article, and some Nobel Scientist have said it may be worse than the Nuclear Threat to our communities. He states it's 'already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding'.
  • The city council recently turned down a resolution written by U of M graduate students and city staff to provide planning with watershed overlays to reduce flooding threat to sensitive portions of the city as described in a Ryan Stanton Ann Arbor News article 'Should Ann Arbor adopt new regulations for building in flood zones?'. 
  • New development in the floodplain poses a clear and present threat to residents in and around the floodplain, and to the city's economic and environmental future. Blocking flows to the river will increase flood hazard to those currently not in the floodplain. It is clear the floodplain maps are estimates that do not take into account current changes in weather due to Global Warming.
  • Poor planning in the floodplain and floodway will cause already real flood hazard and flood insurance to become much higher in years to come.

 

 

A New Approach to Managing Water in the State of Michigan: Assessing the Feasibility of Integrated Watershed Commissions

 

From the Report (Right Click for larger image)

  • New report out recommends creation of a Integrated Watershed Commissions (IWCs) to better manage Michigan's watersheds.
  • One can hardly miss all the reports of many 100 year storms, 500 year storms, $B's in loss due to flooding, and record algae blooms in the Great Lakes and inland lakes in Michigan.
  • One major issue they discuss is the challenge of Climate Change, Global Warming, effects on communities and the environment. Given the new backward thinking leadership in DC the local communities will be forced to do most of the 'heavy lifting' to protect and preserve our economies and environments. Don't forget to reset your clocks - "Spring Forward to 1950".
  • Prepared for: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Community Foundation for Muskegon County; Frey Foundation
    Prepared by: David Kraff and Alan Steinman; Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute

    February 2017

  • From the report:

"Historically, water management has been approached as a localized issue in Michigan. As a result, the
state’s current water management system is a fragmented arrangement of agencies and organizations,
most of which are organized according to political, as opposed to watershed, boundaries. Michigan lacks
a statewide mechanism to coordinate management structures at the watershed level, which inhibits
strategies to achieve desired outcomes for all users of shared water resources, and potentially results in
redundant services and fiscal inefficiencies. Given the economic, cultural, and social importance of
Michigan’s water resources, it is important that water is managed in a more coordinated and strategic
manner.


We propose Integrated Watershed Commissions (IWCs) as vehicles to coordinate water resource
management and decision-making at the watershed level. We develop two alternate visions for IWCs: 1)
a “constrained” strategy to coordinate decision-making and management while operating, for the most
part, within the state’s existing governance structures; and 2) a “blue sky” approach representing our
idealized recommendations for an alternative water management system in Michigan, unconstrained
from present political and management limitations. Our findings include state policy recommendations
to enable IWC-led watershed management and financing strategies; we also propose five steps for
reform, short of IWCs, aimed at improving watershed-based coordination and collaboration in Michigan."

(bold by us)

 

 

 

MALLETTS CREEK CHURCHILL DOWNS PARK 5506-04 DRAIN PROJECT NOTICE: March 20. 2017, 4:30pm

 


From Consultants Report on Upper Malletts Creek

Proposed detention in blue areas of existing Eisenhower Park

(Right Click for larger image)


  • City of Ann Arbor is petitioning the County to do work in the Lawton neighborhood to reduce the real and present danger of flooding in the area due to Global Warming effects on the weather and the poor planning that allow scores of homes to be built in old creek beds and old wetlands causing flooding issues for the community.
  • This project will cost the community not only millions of dollars it will necessitate the loss of park space to hold stormwater in a flood prone area.
  • Unfortunately this practice continues today in new developments approved for construction such as the Nixon Farms and South Pond developments.
  • The use of Chapter 20 to spread costs widely to benefit the whole community is something the ACWG has recommended for many years with much push back from government officials. Glad to see this effort brought forward.
  • The proposal is controversial from comments at public meetings we have attended and feel that the Lawton neighborhood is in real need of flood control measures, but some may not which to see it done in this manner. Many have commented at public meetings on the loss of park space while others have commented on the loss of wooded areas buffering their homes from the noise and activities on I94.
  • Recent Ryan Stanton article in Ann Arbor News;
  • Consultants Report link;
  • Hearing: 
    • March 20, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. 
    • Office of the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner,
      Western County Service Center, 705 North Zeeb Rd., Room 1105, Scio Twp.
  • Notice of Hearing Of Necessity:

NOTICE OF HEARING OF NECESSITY
MALLETTS CREEK CHURCHILL DOWNS PARK 5506-04 DRAIN PROJECT
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Drainage Board for the proposed Malletts Creek
Churchill Downs Park 5506-04 Drain Project has considered the petition received from
the City of Ann Arbor for improving the county drain known as the Malletts Creek Drain
and made a tentative determination that the said petition is sufficient and that the said
project is practicable; has designated the name “MALLETTS CREEK CHURCHILL
DOWNS PARK 5506-04 DRAIN PROJECT” as the name of said drainage project; has
given the name “Malletts Creek Drainage District” to the drainage district therefore, and
has made a tentative determination that the following public corporations should be
assessed for cost of said project, to wit:

City of Ann Arbor, for benefits to the public health;


NOTICE IS FURTHER GIVEN that the Drainage Board will meet on March 20, 2017, at
4:30 p.m. at the Office of the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner,
Western County Service Center, 705 North Zeeb Rd., Room 1105, Ann Arbor, Michigan,
for the purpose of hearing any objections to said project, to the petition therefore and to
the matter of assessing the cost to the public corporations above named. At said hearing
any public corporation to be assessed or any taxpayer thereof, will be entitled to be heard.
This Notice is given by order of said Drainage Board.
____________________________
Evan Pratt, Chair
Dated: 28 February 2017




February 2017 No meeting month of February due to Conflict with Allen('s) Creek Greenway City-wide Public Meeting, Thursday February 16, 6:30 pm, City Hall (see details below).

 

Watershed Issues of Interest:

Allen('s) Creek Greenway Master Plan Public Meeting - February 16

Greenway Master Plan Meeting (Right click for larger image)


UPDATES:

  • City of Ann Arbor has approved over 100 new homes in the Floodplain, in the last year or so, some just up against the floodway. With the threats from Global Warming More Intense Rain Events this is ill-advised and many had hoped to establish a Greenway in the Floodplain with green and open space close in to downtown, and reduce flood hazard. This when Warren has recently agreed to purchase 15 parcels in the floodplain with Federal Funds to reduce flood hazard due to Global Warming threats to flooding.



  • The Greenway Master Plan Community meeting this week:

Greenway City-wide Public Meeting  

Thrs. February 16

6:30-8:30 p.m.

In the Council Chambers at City Hall


  • We hope you can attend, get an overview of the plan options for the Greenway, ask questions and make comment on the options for a Greenway in Ann Arbor.

  • A Greenway in the Allen's Creek floodplain will greatly reduce flood hazard to hundreds of homes and businesses in the west side, will create a open gathering green space in the near downtown, connect to the Huron River and Border to Border Trail, provide alternative transportation to and from the downtown and river, provide festival sites for events, arts display locations and many other amenities that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

  • As part of the Community Rating System (CRS) with FEMA a Greenway could significantly lower Flood Insurance Rates in Ann Arbor which are going up each year. One homeowner in the floodplain was told by the city staff recently the rates are expected to go up 25% a year for the next many years.

  • The tunnel under the railroad berm at Depot St., which now seems to be moving along to eventual fruition, as a connector for the ACG to the Huron River park space and, connect the Border to Border Trail which the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (owner of the track) has indicated is a high priority and is listed very high in the current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

  • Greenways in Michigan cities have shown great outcomes and promise both economically and environmentally, for example:

  • The Arcadia Creek Greenway in Kalamazoo

  • Grand Rapids Grand River Greenway

  • Flint's Gilkey Creek Greenway

  • Detroit River Dequindre Cut Greenway

  • Traverse City Boardman River Greenway

  • The Detroit Area Downriver Linked Greenways

  • Just one example of flood reduction and park benefits is the Arcadia Creek Greenway in Kalamazoo completed a few years ago - no flooding to the 500 year rain, in just a few years generated $12M/year in festival receipts, new park fees for events and increased tax revenues of the adjacent area by $400K/year.

  • All CAC meetings materials are available at city hall and online.

  • The ACWG plans to work hard with the city residents, the Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy (ACGC) and the city to create the best and most cost effective Greenway possible.

  • Visit the project website if you are interested in learning more. For questions contact Allen Creek Greenway Master Plan project manager, Connie Pulcipher, at cpulcipher@a2gov.org or 734-794-6430 x 43731.

  • Link to City of Ann Arbor Allen Creek Greenway Master Plan Project Web Page

  • Link to Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy ACGC


Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane - US EPA Takes Next Steps to Evaluate Site for Superfund Designation: Superfund Preliminary Assessment


Image result for flint mi

Michigan Water Crisis


  • The US - EPA Region 5 office has notified the petitioners on Feb. 1, 2017, of a request to make the Gelman Plume a Superfund site, that the EPA will take the next steps and evaluate the site for Superfund designation - a Superfund Preliminary Assessment (PA).

  • The petitioners were Ann Arbor and Scio Township, and Sierra Club Huron Valley Group.

  • Vince Caruso is now on the Sierra Club Huron Valley Group Executive Committee (SCHV ExCom), elected to start January 1 and was asked to meet in late January with EPA Region 5's appointed site investigator Michael Berkoff along with two other SCHV ExCom members as Superfund Petitioners.

    • Michael Berkoff, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA Region 5, Superfund Division. Remedial Response Section #3; Chicago, Il

  • The EPA had a meeting with the Environmental Commission (EC) on 1/26/17 where members of ACWG, SCHV and CARD, as well as other citizens made public comment at the start of the meeting.

  • After public comment EPA started this portion of the EC meeting with a presentation on Superfund process and then took questions from EC members.

    • LINK to video of EC meeting, with good overview by EPA staff on Superfund process.

  • Mr. Berkoff has indicated he will be returning to Ann Arbor for more investigation this coming spring.

  • He has ask ACWG for more information on soil contamination at the Gelman site off Wagner Rd, and the Sisters Lake Marshy area.

    • Using information on the SRSW.ORG site and help from Roger Rayle of SRSW we provided links to videos and what little reports on soil contamination are available.

    • The soils have not been routinely tested in recent years, although in the late 90's values near 1M ppb were reported by MDEQ.

    • Unfortunately Gelman and MDEQ has not been very active in removing this contamination which has greatly concerned the ACWG and concerned CARD for many years.

  • MDEQ had said they would wait till spring to do more near surface groundwater (NSG) tests. We questioned this plan given recent findings in NSG and they agreed to do additional tests in the near future before spring.


  • With the poor quantity, and in some cases quality, of tests done to date the city is left with very little information of the risks to exposure to residents.

  • Several blocks west of the previous 2 near surface tests, with 2 ppb and 3 ppb, is a deep groundwater well showing 320 ppb and moving east. At Vet's Park several blocks farther west we have deep groundwater well with readings over 1,000 ppb.

  • The ACWG was instrumental in getting official to agree to do near surface and surface ground water tests, and it is important to gain an understanding of the flow of the plume and if it will be coming to the surface and where.


  • At the February CARD meeting it was noted by Matt Naud Env. Coordinator for Ann Arbor that new monitoring wells are to put in near the NE Supply Well at Montgomery and Bemije streets to determine if Pall/Gelman must pay to replace it in accordance to court agreements in past years, dependent on contamination levels in the groundwater near the well.

  • The ACWG asked additionally to have these new wells monitor NSG as well as deep well contamination levels, as this location is about a block from the location where 2 and 3 ppb was found in NSG.


  • Some scientists at U of M School of Public Health and other schools are discussion options for working on various aspects of this contamination. One is an ACWG member and former charter member of the city of Ann Arbor EC, and submitted a preliminary grant last year that was not funded. They have been in talks of possible collaboration with a scientist from U of NC State who is working on exposures of 1,4 Dioxane in river and drinking water in the Cape Fear River Valley in NC, Detlef Knappe, PhD (Professor of Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University). Dr. Knappe gave a talk 1,4D exposures (video link) at UM-SPH on 1-17-17 and talked to some local government officials and local activist residents afterward.

  • This shallow groundwater exposure is a clear and present danger to the community and needs immediate evaluation by state and local officials and, plans made to stop the potential exposure to the west side residents through their basements and other exposure points.

  • DEQ have not indicate to the CARD group the they have done the modeling for Vapor Intrusion (VI) of 1,4D as they said is necessary for including VI in the new emergency site regulatory statute. This data would be necessary to determine the level of exposure in basements that may occur. This compound VI profile would be different than most all other VI compounds of concerns as it would enter structures with water and then evaporate with the water into the air. This special modeling may not have been done for any compound or just a few. U of M VI research scientists have expressed interest in studying this uncommon exposure modeling.

  • The action level in MI for 1,4 D is 29 ppb within about 10 feet of a basement.

  • Michigan has set new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations) which would result in a 3.5 ppb standard. A 1 in 1M risk, 70 year exposure would result in a .35 ppb standard according to EPA.

  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, an animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.


312 Glendale Dr. Memory Care Facility Development Proposal - Exacerbate Flooding in the Neighborhood and Ugly - Council sent the Proposal back to Planning Commission on January 17 for Further Review

Results of residents neighborhood survey;

Site is to left in dark olive tone with Legend, stormwater flow to the right


Council sent the proposal back to Planning Commission on January 17.

ACWG submitted to Council a Public Statement on this proposal and Council had comment on:


The city must consider existing tax base and, health, safety and welfare when approving development. This proposal will reduce the tax base of hundreds of homes downstream due to flood hazard and having the back of the building facing this residential neighborhood. These homes have a proven tax base,  some for close to 100 years with another 100 to come!


Zion Church addition a few years ago was forced them to come up to code and add stormwater management but city code has changed since then but some on council felt, like Zion, this parcel should be considered with the HT parcel in a more unified manner given the history of flooding downstream of this site.


The number of parking spaces requested do not match the use and seem to supplement existing Hillside Terrace (HT) employees parking.


Common ownership, common use is an issue on planning for this site.


The ACWG brought up that the street, Jackson Place, like all city streets are designed only to flood and hold 10 year rain event, not 100 year (1% chance) as the comments of staff suggested. The stormwater will spill over the curb into MC site. Our photos from Sat. 12-10-16 show some of the curbs are sub-standard and very low, and may not even handle 5 year event let alone 10 year. The city admits often that the Allen's Creek streets currently flood and overflow, into yards and homes, on average every 1 ½ years.


The ACWG brought up that the MC plan does not seem to fully address the imperviousness of the three existing structures that are currently in this parcel according to city GIS data, two houses, garage, and drives with walks, with lots of imperviousness. It is on the same parcel and should be include in stormwater management planning.


The neighborhood group and the ACWG showed a video to Planning Commission Staff of the orchard site during a major rain event that seems to show the orchard can handle large rain events without sheet flow off the site, this even with HT runoff flowing over the Jackson Place curb into the orchard, contrary to city and county planner's comments to the Planning Commission.


Currently we have found that the orchard mitigates HT uncontrolled runoff into this over taxed neighborhood!


Flooding from the HT site occurred when first built in the 1970's. Downstream homeowners settled out of court for money damages. Adding a new building and imperiousness in this area will cause flooding.


Homes to the north of the MC site are down hill and have had flooding from the HT site in its natural state and were forced to do owner payed landscaping to try to mitigate the flows. With a new building on site flooding will be worse.


This neighborhood has been designated a Special Flood Hazard Target Area by the city in the recent City Wide Stormwater Study due to the extensive flooding. Neighbors have surveyed the 5 block area and found 50% of homes have water problems as shown above.


A park with stormwater detention is the best option for the site to handle non-mitigated up stream flows including HT that are putting more and more homes at risk of flooding, a health, safety and welfare risk, and property devaluation. This opportunity should not be allowed to be missed. No other green space is west upstream of this site.


The city has said it will spend $7M to mitigate flooding in Lawton Neighborhood. The city has just bought green space easement, from a developer building new condos in Lawton, for SW detention at great cost to the city, due to residential concerns of flooding in the Lawton area.


Zoning is not clear as to why it did not lapse due to inactivity on the original zoning change proposal. It was not zoned and then zoned R4B in 1994 for HT expansion which did not go forward.


Much too large for residential neighborhood with the back facing existing single family residential. It will have a Glendale address and the back will face Glendale. This will be ugly and lower the value of Glendale homes.


Inappropriate development across the creek on Liberty St. from our house at 556 Glendale in early 2000's forced the city to spend close to $1/2M to mitigate flooding issues caused by the new development. In our Fair Glen Commons private park space 7 landmark trees were cut down, the woodland half cleared and an open section of the Allen's Creek enclosed in a 5'x8' 1,000' long ugly pipe. Tax return on the new homes will be 35 to 40 years before the increase tax is realized by the city. Many of the new owner occupied homes on Liberty St. that were at risk have been turned into rental units with much less value than previously.


Our city leadership seems to have become Global Warming Climate Deniers. HRWC and UM/MSU/MI Dept of Health recent published studies say we should be planning now for 500 year (0.2% chance) not 100 year storms due to Global Warming (see below). In the last year or so the city has approved over 60 new homes in the Allen's Creek Floodplain and some up next to the floodway contrary to federal opinion and, current Michigan and national scientific studies.


Studies cited above:


The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) has recently posted on the web (Feb. 2016):

'Implications of precipitation changes in Southeast Michigan and options for response: A guide for municipalities',


Report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA) Program—a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University Michigan Climate and Health Profile Report 2015 -  Building Resilience Against Climate Effects on Michigan’s Health





Proposed Agenda:  
 

January 19, 2017 


Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane - to Few Surface and Near Surface Water Tests in Ann Arbor Near Westside


Image result for flint mi

Michigan Water Crisis


  • Given the past result of Surface water tests more tests are need as soon as possible on the west side of town.

  • With the poor quantity, and in some cases quality, of tests done to date the city is left with very little information of the risks to exposure to residents.

  • Several blocks west of the previous 2 near surface tests, with 2 and 3 ppb, is a deep groundwater well showing 320 ppb and moving east. At Vet's Park several blocks farther west we have deep groundwater well with readings over 1,000 ppb.

  • The ACWG was instrumental in getting official to agree to do near surface and surface ground water tests, and it is important to gain an understanding of the flow of the plume and if it will be coming to the surface and where.

  • This shallow groundwater exposure is a clear and present danger to the community and needs immediate evaluation by state and local officials and, plans made to stop the potential exposure to the west side residents through their basements and other exposure points.

  • DEQ have not indicate to the CARD group the they have done the modeling for Vapor Intrusion (VI) of 1,4D as they said is necessary for including VI in the new emergency site regulatory statute. This data would be necessary to determine the level of exposure in basements that may occur.

  • Michigan has set new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations) which would result in a 3.5 ppb standard. A 1 in 1M risk, 70 year exposure would result in a .35 ppb standard according to EPA.

  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, a animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.



312 Glendale Dr. Memory Care Facility Development Proposal - Exacerbate Flooding in the Neighborhood and Ugly - Council will take up the Proposal January 17

Results of residents neighborhood survey;

Site is to left in dark olive tone with Legend, stormwater flow to the right


UPDATE: At the 17th Council meeting they voted to send the proposal back to the Planning Commission for further review and possible revision.

Issues some on council was having trouble with were:

  • Ownership issues with Hillside Terrace and the Memory Care Center and its potential effect on stormwater regulations

  • Is the stormwater modeling valid for the site including the existing two houses, Planning Commission discussions with the petitioners seemed to be indicating it may not have, ‘houses are not disturbed or captured’

  • Does the Orchard currently reduce flooding as it captures flows off HT and seems to mitigate them, and will it be overwhelmed by flows from HT which would cause additional flooding downstream

  • A flyer sent out from HT early this month reads in part ‘planned expansion and substantial growth in 2017

  • Is this building appropriate with the very large mass of the rear of the building facing Glendale, a street with single family small houses and small detached condos

  • Questions of effective stormwater modeling given the extensive flooding in Nixon Rd. with new development going in, that was not to be an issue everyone was told



Council will take up the proposal with a Public Hearing January 17 at Council Chambers City Hall in a Council meeting starting at 7pm.


The potential for more flooding and the option for a park space at this site to mitigating existing flooding and pollution loading to the watershed and the Huron River, with Hillside Terrace sending large amounts of uncontrolled stormwater down the hill into the neighborhood, are critical issues that need to be addressed.


We have been told by the city over the past two decades that new development will be the major way we get improvement in the watershed. That does not seem to be happening here.


500 year (0.2% chance) floodplain planning is the new recommendation from both Federal and regional planners, not the previous 100 year (1% chance) , due to Global Warming effects on rainfall amounts and flooding.


ACWG submitted to Council Statement on this proposal:


Issues council must address with regards to the Hillside Memory Care (MC) proposal:


The Allen's Creek Group does not support this proposal.


The city must consider existing tax base and, health, safety and welfare when approving development. This proposal will reduce the tax base of hundreds of homes downstream due to flood hazard and having the back of the building facing this residential neighborhood. These homes have a proven tax base,  some for close to 100 years with another 100 to come!


As commented by the Planning Commission (PC) director the nearby Zion Church addition a few years ago forced them to come up to code and add stormwater management. So should this site. It should not be allowed to skirt the city rules on very thin evidence. Zion told us Project Grow folks, then at Zion, they had to come up to code even though they did not want to do it. UPDATE: When the the Zion expansion was approved the regulation on stormwater control did not include percent change in imperviousness as is now the case. Now the regulation include a greater than 50% change in imperviousness to trigger upgrades to the full site.


The number of parking spaces requested do not match the use and seem to supplement existing Hillside Terrace (HT) employees parking.


Common ownership, common use. Why did the PC not ask the owner in attendance for details?


The street, Jackson Place, like all city streets are designed only to flood and hold 10 year rain event, not 100 year (1% chance) as the comments of staff suggested. The stormwater will spill over the curb into MC site. Our photos from Sat. 12-10-16 show some of the curbs are sub-standard and very low, and may not even handle 5 year event let alone 10 year. The city admits often that the Allen's Creek streets currently flood and overflow, into yards and homes, on average every 1 ½ years.


MC plan does not address the imperviousness of the three existing structures that are currently in this parcel according to city GIS data, two houses, garage, and drives with walks, with lots of imperviousness. It is on the same parcel, much like Zion's situation yet not the same treatment. Questioned but also not addressed.


It is stated the MC will help the SW situation in the area. Not so. It will only deal with 120% rain on the MC, not including the three existing homes and spill over from HT. The orchard site seems to be able to handle 200 year rain. Neighbors have check in large rain events and water does not sheet off the orchard, even with HT runoff flowing over the Jackson Place curb into the orchard.


Currently we have found that the orchard mitigates HT uncontrolled runoff into this overtaxed neighborhood!


Flooding from this site occurred when first built in the 1970's. Downstream homeowners settled out of court for money damages. Adding a new building and imperiousness in this area will cause flooding.


Homes to the north of the MC site are down hill and have had flooding from the site in its natural state and were forced to do owner payed landscaping to try to mitigate the flows. With a new building on site flooding will be worse.


This neighborhood has been designated a Special Flood Hazard Target Area by the city in the recent City Wide Stormwater Study due to the extensive flooding. Neighbors have surveyed the 5 block area and found 50% of homes have water problems as shown above.


A park with stormwater detention is the best option for the site to handle non-mitigated up stream flows including HT that are putting more and more homes at risk of flooding, a health, safety and welfare risk, and property devaluation. This opportunity should not be allowed to be missed. No other green space is west upstream of this site.


The city has just bought green space easement, from a developer building new condos in Lawton, for SW detention at great cost to the city, due to residential concerns of flooding in the Lawton area.


Greenbelt and Federal Flood hazard funds should be used. Federal funds of $250M were recently made available due to the 500 year flood in Warren in 2014 which Ann Arbor is eligible for. Warren is going to buy up to 15 parcels in the floodplain with these funds, among other efforts' use of these funds.


Zoning is not clear as to why it did not lapse due to inactivity on the original zoning change proposal. It was not zoned and then zoned R4B in 1994 for HT expansion which did not go forward.


Much too large for residential neighborhood with the back facing existing single family residential. It will have a Glendale address and the back will face Glendale. This will be ugly and lower the value of Glendale homes.


Inappropriate development across the creek on Liberty St. from our house at 556 Glendale in early 2000's forced the city to spend close to $1/2M to mitigate flooding issues caused by the new development. In our Fair Glen Commons private park space 7 landmark trees were cut down, the woodland half cleared and an open section of the Allen's Creek enclosed in a 5'x8' 1,000' long ugly pipe. Tax return on the new homes will be 35 to 40 years before the increase tax is realized by the city. Many of the new owner occupied homes on Liberty St. that were at risk have been turned into rental units with much less value than previously.


Our city leadership seems to have become Global Warming Climate Deniers. HRWC and UM/MSU/MI Dept of Health recent published studies say we should be planning now for 500 year (0.2% chance) not 100 year storms due to Global Warming (see below). In the last year or so the city has approved over 60 new homes in the Allen's Creek Floodplain and some up next to the floodway contrary to federal opinion and, current Michigan and national scientific studies.


Studies cited above:


The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) has recently posted on the web (Feb. 2016):

'Implications of precipitation changes in Southeast Michigan and options for response: A guide for municipalities',


Report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA) Program—a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University Michigan Climate and Health Profile Report 2015 -  Building Resilience Against Climate Effects on Michigan’s Health




Allen('s) Creek Greenway Master Plan CAC Meeting


A screenshot of a presentation slide from CAC #3 Meeting, City of Ann Arbor


  • The Greenway Master Plan Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) met last week.

  • Several proposals were presented and feedback collected.

  • See links below for more details and information.

  • A major point the ACWG makes is that a greenway in a flood prone area like this one can greatly reduce flooding as well as greatly improve economic conditions as has been shown in may communities.

  • Quality of life issues are also clearly a major benefit of greenways in urban centers.

  • Many examples of successful regional greenways in MI are in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and the recently finished Dequindre Cut in the Detroit area, and others.

  • A public meeting to discuss some of the considered options and benefits will be held on:

    • Community Wide Meeting #2

    • February 16, 6:30pm

    • Location: Council Chambers 2nd Fl City Hall





Proposed Agenda:  
 
December 15, 2016

Gelman Dioxane Contamination US-EPA Superfund Petition

Superfund

Click here to view and/or sign in support.
 
Click on this page link to view more details;
 

Ann Arbor Charter Township, Scio Township, and the Sierra Club – Huron Valley Group have jointly file a petition requesting the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conduct a Preliminary Assessment for the Gelman Sciences, Inc. (Gelman) Site to become a federal USEPA Superfund Site. CARD and ACWG are also on record in support for a petition for EPA Superfund status. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has also asked that EPA get involved.

 

Link to the taping of the City of Ann Arbor Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 27th, that was held at Eberwhite School on Shallow Ground Water tests of 1, 4 Dioxane; 2-3 ppb was found at Slawson Middle School area on 8th St.



Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane One Surface Water 'Creek' Tests in Ann Arbor Near Westside

  • A Surface water test was reported on by the DEQ and found to be non-detect (0 or below 1 ppb).
  • The 'creek' test was was done in Hanna Park which does not have an open section of Allen's Creek and it is hard to know what they were testing. It may have been surface flows which would not be of much value.
  • Why more surface and near surface tests have not been done to date is troubling. These tests should not be delayed as exposures may show violation of even the very weak Part 201 state environmental exposure laws.
  • The ACWG was instrumental in getting officials to agree to do near surface and surface ground water tests.
  • This shallow groundwater exposure is a clear and present danger to the community and needs immediate evaluation by state and local officials and, plans made to stop the potential exposure to the west side residents through their basements.
  • The DEQ has indicated to us that surface water Allen's Creek tests would be included in the near future. We have several open sections of the Allen's Creek on the westside including in Eberwhite Woods and other wooded park spaces. These open sections of the creek are frequently visited by children.
  • EPA Superfund option is the only option to try to get in front of this ground and now surface water pollution issue facing our city and nearby townships.
  • The new shallow groundwater standard by the MDEQ for 1,4 Dioxane is 29 ppb.
  • DEQ have indicated to the CARD group that they have not done the modeling for Vapor Intrusion (VI) of 1,4D as they said is necessary for including VI in the new emergency site regulatory statute.
  • Michigan has set new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations) which would result in a 3.5 ppb standard. A 1 in 1M risk, 70 year exposure would result in a .35 ppb standard according to EPA.
  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, a animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.


312 Glendale Dr. Memory Care Facility Development Proposal - Exacerbate Flooding in the Neighborhood and Ugly
 
Results of residents neighborhood survey;
Site is to left in dark olive tone with Legend, flow to the right
  • The last Planning Commission(PC) Meeting on this proposal voted 6 to 1 to support. It will now go to city council(CC) for a vote, time yet to be determined.
  • The ACWG does not support this development proposal developing an Apple Orchard on Glendale Dr. to a memory care facility, 24 bedroom, 16,743 square foot single story building, essentially an extension of Hillside Terrace next door to the east.
  • Protecting existing large Tax Base is generally more important than just add new tax base.
  • The fact that this is essentially an addition to Hillside Terrace (HT), it like Zion Church, should be required to bring the entire site up to stormwater code.
  • Owners were again at the Planning Commission Meeting but were not asked to comment on this issue raised again by city residents.
  • The plan does not address the imperiousness of the three existing structures on the site, two houses, garage, and drives with walks, lots of imperviousness. It is on the same parcel, much like Zion's situation, yet not the same treatment.
  • Flooding from this site occurred when first built in the 1970's. Downstream homeowners settled out of court for money damages. Adding a new building and imperiousness in this area will cause flooding.
  • This orchard should be a stormwater detention/park space to mitigate all the flooding downstream, purchased with Greenbelt Millage funds to create a green space for a very dense urban area with very little park space. The city Greenbelt Millage language requires 1/3 of the millage funds be used inside the city limits. Protecting existing green space and, reduce pollution and flooding are key goals.
  • The city paid for land locked green space next to Eberwhite Woods in recent years with general funds. No public access except through the school's land, or parking in violation of city park acquisition rules. Dicken Woods was also paid for mainly with general funds to prevent additional flooding in the Dicken area and create new green park space. 
  • We asked our council members to ask for a meeting with the developer regarding a park option but never received a communication back from our council members.
  • New reports show a real and present need to change our Flood Hazard Planning:


and a report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA) Program—a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University Michigan Climate and Health Profile Report 2015 -  Building Resilience Against Climate Effects on Michigan’s Health,

  • One has to wonder if some of our city and county officials have become Global Warming Climate Deniers in their policies toward the dramatic increase in real and present flood hazard facing our community.
  • The ACWG members were part of the 2015 Citywide Stormwater Study/Stormwater Advisory Group effort that indicated this area as a target area for enhanced Stormwater management and relief. This neighborhood should not be put under more pressure for flood hazard.
  • The city needs to protect long lived tax base with any reasonable development proposal. We have many blocks of homes down stream of this site with major flooding as shown in the neighborhood survey presented to the PC and CC, and beyond this immediate neighborhood.
  • Having the back of this building facing our neighborhood is not appropriate and will lower our property values and 'uglify' the area lowing the tax base. This is not an appropriate development for a single family residential neighborhood. 
  • Once again this site is too small for the proposed development and should be set aside as a stormwater(SW) detention/park space using Greenbelt Millage, and preserve the extensive tax base and wonderful neighborhoods down stream of this site.
  • The ACWG and residents have been told over the last two decades that new development is the way we will see improvements in SW hazard in this watershed. Clearly that is not happening here but should be.
  •  The city has just bought green space easement, from a developer building new condos in Lawton, for SW detention at great cost to the city, due to residential concerns of flooding in the Lawton area, on Ann Arbor Saline Rd.
  • Zoning issues for the site seem to violate city code.
    • City records indicate that what is now Hillside Terrace (1939 Jackson Ave.) and several adjacent parcels owned by it (including 312 Glendale Dr. and 1943 Jackson Ave.) were annexed into Ann Arbor in 1987 -- without a zoning designation.
    • In 1994 Hillside Terrace submitted a site plan to expand into the adjacent 312 Glendale Dr. parcel and, as a result, the R4B (multiple family dwelling) zoning code was assigned to both parcels.
    • That site plan expired in 1999.
    • The zoning code for 312 Glendale Dr. should have expired with that site plan (several City officials have privately acknowledged this, and that R4B is not appropriate for this site).  There continue to be several tiny parcels surrounding 312 Glendale Dr. that are zoned R1. 
    • This site should be zoned R1 like its neighbor sites.


Geddes Ave Road Green Street Complete and Open for use, Stone School Rd Green Street

Geddes Ave Rock Bed below road Installation, City of Ann Arbor (Right Click for Larger View)


Stone School Road Green Street, Insite Design and City of Ann Arbor

  • The city has reconstructed Geddes Ave as a new Green Street effort in the city. Stone School Road has also had a Green Streets treatment this past year.
  • For Geddes Ave:
    • City streets engineers indicated to us in past similar efforts that this type of Green Street effort is less expensive that conventional street construction.
    • The street should last longer and have much fewer pot holes develop with the infiltration rock bed below the street. With the rock bed below water is generally not close to the surface of the road which greatly reduces pot holes and cracks from forming in the road surface. 
  • Generally Green Streets are cost effective in managing rain water runoff (stormwater) at its source, by handling all or most of it by infiltrating and detoxifying it.
  • With Global Warming SEM getting and expecting more intense rain fall and larger rain events than historically the Green Street Policy is becoming more important as one technique to deal with greater flood hazard and water pollution.
  • The types of Green Streets can infiltrate and detoxify all or most of the street runoff and, additional near street runoff, such as driveways and sidewalk.
  • The ACWG, the Environmental Commission Water Committee and city staff worked hard to get the Green Streets Policy drawn up and passed.
  • More details of the Geddes Ave Green Street project, Stone School Rd and full details of other presentations at 4th Annual Stormwater Summit on October 7, 2016 at Lawrence Technological University.



Proposed Agenda:  


November 17, 2016

Gelman Dioxane Contamination US-EPA Superfund Petition


Superfund


Click here to view and/or sign in support.

Click on this page link to view more details;

UPDATE: Ann Arbor Charter Township, Scio Township, and the Sierra Club – Huron Valley Group have jointly file a petition on November 21, 2016 requesting the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conduct a Preliminary Assessment for the Gelman Sciences, Inc. (Gelman) Site to become a federal USEPA Superfund Site. CARD and ACWG are also on record in support for a petition for EPA Superfund status. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has also asked that EPA get involved. City Council has yet to join this effort.

Link to the taping of the City of Ann Arbor Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 27th, that was held at Eberwhite School on Shallow Ground Water tests of 1, 4 Dioxane; 2-3 ppb was found at Slawson Middle School area on 8th St.




Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane Still have not done Surface Water Creek Tests in Ann Arbor Near Westside


Image result for flint mi

Michigan Water Crisis


  • No surface creek water tests yet despite ACWG answering DEQ requests for potential sites for tests with maps and offers to escort DEQ officials if needed or wanted. We offered to escort the DEQ in our private Fair Glen Park with an open section of the Allen's Creek. Creek tests were said by the DEQ to happen last summer with the other shallow groundwater tests.

  • The creek system is a major sink for groundwater flows and as such are a critical source of data of where this contamination may be flowing.

  • The ACWG and Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) have asked for shallow groundwater testing for 1,4-Dioxane (1,4D) for a long time.

  • This shallow groundwater exposure is a clear and present danger to the community and needs immediate evaluation by state and local officials and, plans made to stop the potential exposure to the west side residents through their basements.

  • Two dozen Shallow Groundwater Well tests were done late this summer on the West Side of town.

  • Results sent out early last month show 2 to 3.3 ppb found in shallow groundwater well at 6 to 12 feet down at Waterworks Park between 8th St. and 7th St.

  • We have deep well readings at about 330 ppb about 8 blocks up from the 8th Street wells and 1,000 ppb at Vet's Park.

  • Link to the full Report with tests Results. 

  • Ann Arbor News MLive web site has a recent article on this MDEQ report.

  • City Council conducted a "Town Hall" meeting which was a poorly planned event. No public comment was planned just questions on cards. This violates city policy that any city sponsored meeting have time for public comment. It seems this was an attempt to keep those who question the city's inaction on a Superfund Petition to EPA. Here is a Link to the CTN video to the Oct. 27 "Town Hall" Meeting.

  • Sad to say at the city sponsored Town Hall Meeting, even when the city using Roger Rayle SRSW/CARD’s plume maps and railed about the shallow groundwater exposures CARD forced the DEQ and Gelman to do, CARD members were not asked to be at the table.

  • There was no comment on the two townships Ann Arbor and Scio, Sierra Club, CARD, ACWG and the County draft resolution, in support for a petition for EPA Superfund status till this CARD/ACWG member made unscheduled public comment later in the meeting. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has also asked that EPA get involved. This was unfortunate and a misrepresentation of the current very strong support for Superfund petition.

  • Allen's Creek tests was said to be included in these tests but was not yet reported on. We have several open sections of the Allen's Creek on the westside including in Eberwhite Woods and other wooded park spaces. These open sections of the creek are frequently visited by children.

  • Shallow groundwater proposed and now temporary standard by the MDEQ for 1,4 Dioxane is 29 ppb.

  • DEQ said at the last CARD Meeting they still have not done the modeling for Vapor Intrusion (VI) of 1,4D as they said is necessary for including VI in the new emergency site regulatory statute.

  • At the last CARD meeting comment from state Attorney General Office officials indicated they felt the emergency order on 1,4D would be made permanent by the state government and not be temporary.

  • Michigan is proposing a new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations) which would result in a 3.5 ppb standard. A 1 in 1M risk, 70 year exposure would result in a .35 ppb standard according to EPA.

  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, a animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.



312 Glendale Dr. Memory Care Facility Development Proposal - Exacerbate Flooding in the Neighborhood

Results of residents neighborhood survey;

Site is to left in dark olive tone with Legend, flow to the right (Right click for larger view)



  • Planning Commission Meeting on this Proposal Nov. 15, 7pm in City Hall Council Chambers 2nd floor

  • UPDATE: Planning Commission voted on the 15th to postpone a decision until the December 6th meeting.


  • The ACWG does not support this development proposal developing an Apple Orchard on Glendale Dr. to a memory care facility, 24 bedroom, 16,743 square foot single story building, essentially an extension of Hillside Terrace next door to the east.


  • ACWG Comments:

We were involved in the city stormwater changes required at Zion Church addition on Liberty St. a few years ago. They added about 15% to the existing building and were required by the city to bring the entire site up to stormwater code. The church asked for a variance which we and many other neighbors did not support. We think Hillside Terrace (HT) should be required to do the same and meet code with this addition. In the previous proposal they submitted they stated that the drive along HT was part of HT property and therefore they needed access on Glendale. Now they are using HT access. They commented at the public meeting for the current proposal they could use the existing HT back parking lot but wanted to add some new parking near the new building. The owners were said to be part of the HT ownership as well. Will workers be paid by and coming over from, and residents be coming over from, HT?


Flooding from this site occurred when first built in the 1970's. Downstream homeowners settled out of court for money damages. Adding a new building and imperiousness in this area will cause flooding.


Homes to the north of the site are down hill and have had flooding from the site in its natural state and were forced to do more owner payed landscaping to try to mitigate the flows. With a new building on site flooding will be worse.


Inappropriate development across the creek on Liberty St. from our house at 556 Glendale in early 2000's forced the city to spend close to $1/2M to mitigate flooding issues in the new development. In our Fair Glen Commons private park space 7 landmark trees were cut down, the woodland half cleared and an open section of the Allen's Creek enclosed in a 5'x8' 1,000' long ugly pipe. Tax return on the new homes will be 35 to 40 years before the increase tax is realized by the city. Many of the owner occupied homes at risk are now rental units with much less value than previously.


This orchard should be a stormwater detention/park space to mitigate all the flooding downstream, purchased with Green Belt Millage funds to create a green space for a very dense urban area with very little park space. The city Greenbelt Millage language requires 1/3 of the millage funds be used inside the city limits. Protecting existing green space and, reduce pollution and flooding are key goals.


The city paid for land locked green space next to Eberwhite Woods in recent years with general funds. No public access except through the school’s land or parking in violation of city park acquisition rules. Dicken Woods was also paid for mainly with general funds to prevent additional flooding in the Dicken area and create new green park space.


We asked our council members to ask for a meeting with the developer regarding a park option but never received a communication back from our council members.


New reports show a real and present need to change our Flood Hazard Planning:


The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) has recently posted on the web (Feb. 2016):


and a report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA) Program—a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University Michigan Climate and Health Profile Report 2015 -  Building Resilience Against Climate Effects on Michigan’s Health,


(not radical folks by any means) all agree in these recent reports we must plan to the 500 year Floodplain due to more intense rain events, not 100 when the city just approved about 60 new homes in the floodplain (!), 52 with parking in the Floodway on top of the Allen's Creek that is in a huge pipe. Ann Arbor needs to heed these warnings. Global Warming is giving SEM much bigger rains to deal with even now. The 500 year rain in the summer 2014 in Warren just missed us on it's way to Warren. The March 15, 2012 Dexter Tornado storm dropped 5-6" record rainfall on Ann Arbor's south west side, a record for the city, in less than an hour. More details on these reports at the links and on our web site.


One has to wonder if our city and county officials have become Global Warming Climate Deniers in their policies toward the dramatic increase in real and present flood hazard facing our community.


The ACWG members were part of the 2015 Citywide Stormwater Study/Stormwater Advisory Group effort that indicated this area as a target area for enhanced Stormwater management and relief. This neighborhood should not be put under more pressure for flood hazard.


The city needs to protect long lived tax base with any reasonable development proposal. We have many blocks of homes downstream of this site with major flooding as shown in the neighborhood survey presented to the PC and CC, and beyond this immediate neighborhood.


We see private owner efforts at Westgate Shopping Center with rain gardens in the parking islands to reduce runoff flows, unfortunately that reduction in flows will not affect the Glendale neighborhood.


The public meetings for the previous proposal for this site had the largest turnout of residents for any development proposal public meeting, the vast majority oppose the development. This proposal will have much the same impact. Ann Arbor Chronicle did a story on this discussion with the PC with many details - Article Link - and we ask these comments be added to this planning packet for the record.


Having the back of this building facing our neighborhood is not appropriate and will lower our property values and 'uglify' the area lowing the tax base. This is not an appropriate development for a single family residential neighborhood.


Once again this site is too small for the proposed development and should be set aside as a stormwater detention/park space using Green Belt Millage, and preserve the extensive tax base and wonderful neighborhoods downstream of this site.



Churchill Downs Park Stormwater Basin Project



  • Notice from the Washtenaw County Water Resources Office:

'The 2014 Upper Malletts Study made several recommendations for stormwater management improvements in Upper Malletts Creek. One of those recommendations involved building a detention basin at Churchill Downs Park. That project was included in the City of Ann Arbor’s capital improvement process and we’ll soon be ready to develop detailed designs for bidding and construction.
However, it has been some time since the conceptual plans were vetted by the public. Since then, some additional design considerations have been identified. Before moving forward, there will be a community meeting to update residents, review the project, discuss design elements, and determine readiness to proceed.'
  • The ACWG feels the Lawton neighborhood is in a particularly tough position as the original approved plotting of the neighborhood placed homes in old creek beds and wetlands that make it now very difficult to reduce flooding during normal and the much larger rain events we are now getting with Global Warming Effects on SEM.

  • The March 15, 2012 Dexter Tornado NEXRAD estimates of 5-6" rain that hit Lawton neighborhood causing flooding, an historic event, is a good example of the kinds of events that will become more common.

  • The community must work together to mitigate the flood hazard in Lawton neighborhood as soon as possible as more rain storms will cause flooding which is not acceptable to Lawton residents, or to the residents of Ann Arbor and is a threat to our tax base.


Churchill Downs Park Stormwater Basin Project Meeting

December 13th, 2016

7-8:30 PM

Lawton School MP Room (cafeteria)





Update:

Oct. 26, 2016


Link to the Recording of the City of Ann Arbor Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 27th, that was held at Eberwhite School on Shallow Ground Water tests of 1, 4 Dioxane, 2-3 ppb was found at Slawson Middle School area on 8th St. More details below on these findings.

New Emergency MDEQ Rules on 1,4 Dioxaine Exposures at Town Hall Meeting Oct. 27th:
'Acknowledging the state's longstanding dioxane exposure criteria is not protective of public health, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the governor's office have issued emergency rules.' 'The new rules set the allowable level of dioxane in residential drinking water at 7.2 parts per billion — down from 85 ppb, a level that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data from 2010 showed was not protective of public health.' 'In addition to drinking water criteria, the emergency rules establish a new vapor intrusion screening level of 29 ppb for dioxane, which is important as dioxane has been discovered in shallow groundwater on Ann Arbor's west side.': MLive Article


Gelman Dioxane Contamination US-EPA Superfund Petition, October 2016  

    Click here to view and/or sign in support

Ann Arbor Charter Township, Scio Township, and the Sierra Club – Huron Valley Group have announced plans to jointly file a petition next month requesting the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conduct a Preliminary Assessment for the Gelman Sciences, Inc. (Gelman) Site to become a federal USEPA Superfund Site.

“Local governments and community groups long have worked with the DEQ on remediation options for the Gelman Site and a dioxane cleanup standard that protects human health and is consistent with EPA policy. Unfortunately, DEQ has not demonstrated the capability or willingness to obtain a protective remedy in court that places the burden for clean-up squarely on the potentially responsible party,” said Michael Moran, Supervisor, Ann Arbor Charter Township

  • Ann Arbor Charter Township, Scio Township and the Sierra Club Huron Valley to File a Petition Requesting the Gelman Site Become Federal USEPA Superfund Site

  •  Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has also asked that the USEPA get involved in this cleanup effort.


  • The Ann Arbor Twp. and Scio Twp. recently voted to petition the US EPA for Superfund Status.

  • The County Board voted unanimously in support of drafting a petition to EPA.

  • The CARD Group at its March '16 meeting voted in support of an EPA Superfund Petition, as part of CARD I voted in support.

  • The Allen's Creek Watershed Group also voted in support.

  • Scio Residents for Safe Water supports it.


  • Ann Arbor City Council has yet to take a position on a Federal USEPA Superfund request.



Click on this page link or on the Left to view more details





Proposed Agenda: 

October 20, 2016


1,4-Dioxane Contamination Found in Shallow Groundwater on Ann Arbor Near Westside, Suspected Pall/Gelman in Origin (updated)


Image result for flint mi

Michigan Water Crisis


  • The ACWG and Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) have asked for shallow groundwater testing for a long time.

  • Two dozen Shallow Groundwater Well tests were done late this summer on the West Side of town.

  • Results sent out early this week show 2 to 3.3 ppb found in shallow groundwater well at 6 to 12 feet down at Waterworks Park between 8th St. and 7th St.

  • Safe to say no one expected these results, certainly not the DEQ or city officials.

  • Link to the full Report with tests Results: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-rrd-GS-GelmanShallowGWReport_538157_7.pdf

  • Ann Arbor News MLive web site has a recent article on this MDEQ report.

  • Additionally other compounds were found: trichloroethylene and trichloroethane, dimethyl-hexane, trichloroethane, and tetrachloroethylene. Chloroform was found at 5-5.8 ppb and trichloroethane at12-14 ppb were both found above the MDEQ's reporting limits. Chloroform was above the MDEQ's standard for Vapor Intrusion Limit of 1 ppb, trichloroethane was below the 630 ppb limits.

  • Many home's basements are 7 to 8 feet below grade.

  • Allen's Creek tests was said to be included in these tests but was not reported on. We have several open sections of the Allen's Creek on the westside including in Eberwhite Woods and other wooded park spaces. These open sections of the creek are frequently visited by children.

  • Shallow groundwater proposed standard by the MDEQ for 1,4 Dioxane is 29 ppb.

  • We have deep well readings at about 300 ppb about 8 blocks up from the 8th Street wells and 1,000 ppb at Vet's Park.

  • Vapor Intrusion is a major change in the proposed Part 201 Michigan Cleanup Standards the ACWG and CARD have pushed for with 1,4 Dioxane flowing through the groundwater of the city and potentially entering homes and businesses with groundwater or as a vapor through the basement walls. In a confined space of a basement concentrations may reach levels of concern especially if the homeowner or businesses use the basement on a regular basis. Some homeowners use the basement for offices, play spaces or bedrooms.

  • At a CARD meeting years ago discussion of the Ann Arbor City Apartments at Washington and First came up regarding the below ground parking 2 stories below grade. The ACWG and others asked about potential groundwater issues with this city owned parking garage below, deep into the water table. Soon thereafter we learned the city changed the soon to be started building, to raise the building a full story up to avoid this issue. The city explicit requirement not to have parking on the street level was quickly thrown out the window. City officials did not move in a similar level of concern for residents with the potential for basement exposure.

  • It has been reported that Ann Arbor has some seeps (groundwater flowing out from hillsides) in higher elevations, not just in the valleys. Some include those in Water Hill and Wurster Park. These higher elevations also need to be monitored for contamination.

  • See below Dan Bicknell's GEA Comments on the DEQ Shallow Groundwater Work Plan

    • His comments indicate it is Not a very good plan.

  • The ACWG and the CARD Group was to get a copy of this plan from the DEQ to review which did not happen.

  • DEQ maybe trying to undermine CARD. DEQ is Starting a Community Focus Group for Gelman Contamination. This when CARD has already functioned for over 10 years with state and local government, and citizen involvement. Local Governments have passed resolutions in support of CARD. CARD has had many Public Meetings in these past years with DEQ and local officials in attendance presenting information and answering questions, with large turnouts. CARD has had Tables at all the major Environmental Events in the past 6 or more years including the Green Fair, Earth Day and Huron River Days. CARD has had meetings virtually every month for the last decade to discuss this very serious and ongoing environmental issue.

  • We need to ask for an EPA Superfund effort to start a cleanup not just a remediation the state has planned. AA Township voted early this week to do just that and we expect SCIO to join them. The County and city should also join to show a united front. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has also asked that EPA get involved, a major statement from our Federal government official.

  • Michigan is proposing a new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations).

  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, a animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.



University of Michigan and City of Ann Arbor Need to Work Together to Improve Stormwater Management on Campus, Observatory St. Work Should have been Green Streets Policy Effort


Nichols Arboretum - School Girls Glen

Michigantoday.umich.edu


  • Opportunity Lost to do a Green Streets effort in a major problem area of the University and Ann Arbor.

  • The ACWG was invited and attended the last Ann Arbor Storm Water Level of Service and Rate Analysis Project Meeting also attended by the U of M.

    • "This project is designed to complete an Integrated Stormwater Level of Service and Rate Assessment linking capital improvement needs, financing and policy."

  • The ACWG made comment that the U of M needs to do more for the city in reducing SW runoff from campus. Several members of the U of M staff were in attendance. They took umbrage at our comments. They said they would like to have a special meeting to discuss the U of M efforts in this regard. We would welcome such a meeting to discuss opportunities for the University to reduce its impact on our fresh water runoff (stormwater).

  • The ACWG initiated, with a ACWG member on the Water Committee of the Environmental Committee, worked hard with city staff to get the Green Streets Policy passed expressly for this kind of opportunity.

  • This is just another concrete example of a Major Lost Opportunity was the work recently completed on Observatory St. in front of the School of Public Health. The U of M helped fund a portion of this effort.

  • This road had major work done to upgrade some underground utilities with large open sections of the street and resurface, (have photos). The director of the Arboretum has asked for many years to do something about all the runoff into School Girls' Glen in Nichols Arboretum from this area upstream.

  • Many U of M buildings and parking areas have been reconstructed without regard to this ecological problem.

  • The June 2015 Ann Arbor Observer has an article with comments from the ACWG, the Director of Nichols and SRNE Professor Bob Grese, the Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt and Jerry Hancock on City Staff asking the U of M to get involved in the very large amount of runoff from their sites all across the city, not just up stream of Nichols.

  • Professor Grese commented to the ACWG this past summer, on two occasions,  that the amount of stormwater runoff, sediment runoff and the large boulders falling into the river is 'Breathtaking' and totally unacceptable. Huge boulders are being eroded into the river at a great rate and piling up below the Glen.

  • Additionally the huge amount of sediment runoff into the Huron River wreaks havoc on the ecology of the river.

  • This was a major loss of an opportunity to make a major impact on this valuable park and the Huron River.

  • The University needs to pull its weight with greatly improved efforts to improve the quality of life on campus and in our city.

  • Next Ann Arbor Storm Water Level of Service and Rate Analysis Project Meeting is 10-21-16 10 am at the Wheeler Center, 4251 Stone School Rd, Ann Arbor and is open to the public and public comment is taken near the end of the meeting.



Ann Arbor Meets Cooperating Technical Partners Standing with FEMA

US Department of Homeland Security - Federal Emergency Management Agency


  • At the last Ann Arbor Storm Water Level of Service and Rate Analysis Project Meeting it was noted that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has indicated that the city now meets the Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) Criteria.

  • This normally leads to city residents obtaining FEMA Flood Insurance Rates at much lower levels.

  • This has been a request of the ACWG and other city groups for many years and will save residents money and make the city a safer environment.

  • We thank the city staff for all their hard work toward this very important goal.

  • Flooding is by far the most common natural disaster cause of loss of life, health and property in America.

  • CTP Benefits include (from FEMA):

    • 'Develop more detailed maps by incorporating local geospatial data into FEMA’s flood hazard maps

    • Receive streamlined FEMA customer service, access to existing FEMA data, national recognition, technical assistance, and FEMA’s Mapping Information Platform (MIP).

    • Mentoring support, shared best practices, online resources, and free training to achieve more efficient and effective flood risk development; and

    • May be eligible to participate in the FEMA Community Rating System(CRS) and receive CRS credits for flood hazard reduction activities, which may result in discounted flood insurance premiums for property owners.'

    • FEMA CTP Link



With the Recent Sanitary Sewer Overflows We Again Say Permanent Gauging Needed in the Watershed



Non-Contact Flow and Level Gauges; www.isco.com

  • We had an estimated 600,000 gallon sewage overflow directly into the Huron River this summer that may have occurred undetected over several days.

  • Users of the Huron River downstream in the area in Gallup Park were not aware of the overflows.

  • Additionally two more overflows at much lower levels were also reported this summer.

  • With permanent gauges connected wirelessly to a central location it would become obvious that there are sewage issues as flows would stop or drop to unexpected low levels prompting officials to check for backup, before huge amounts of raw sewage spills into the environment or home's basements.

  • Software to notify staff would be very simple and could already be an off the shelf application with automated phone, email and text message notifications.

  • The city and county over the years has paid to install temporary gauging for many studies, at great expense.

  • This is for both sanitary and stormwater flows.

  • The cost to install permanent gauging has dropped with technological improvements.

  • At the last Footer Disconnect Revisit meeting in 2014 when asked the OHM consultant agreed the costs have come down to a point as low as $500-$800 per gauge and are now even lower. 'Set and forget' are how some of these gauges are described with non-contact lasers, solar charging long life batteries and cell or other wireless transmission.

  • The city currently has available wireless which could be used to collect the data.

  • Having gauges could help prevent the situation as we found in the Glendale neighborhood with 3 blocked sanitary sewer lines in a 4-5 block area. Gauges could have alerted the need for crews to come out and inspect and fix the lines soon after being blocked, not waiting till basement flooding of sewage has occurred.

  • Changes in development could have accurate predictions of flood potential with proposed added flows.

  • Additionally the data would be invaluable in modeling efforts to show the most 'bang for the buck' in our city and county sanitary and stormwater upgrade planning and upgrades to the floodplain map.

  • We hope we can work with our city and county planners to start introducing these in critical areas.



Rain Barrels Available from the City and County to Purchase


Picture


Rain Barrels Currently Shown on Conservation District Web Page


  • Contact the Conservation District office at 7203 Jackson Road in Scio Township, or online, or by calling 734-761-6721 ext. 5. The barrels are $75 each.

  • Contact Ann Arbor Planning and Development Services Department storm water and floodplains program at 734-794-6320 or email storm@a2gov.org.

  • Barrels come pre-assembled.  The Assembly Instructions provide information on setting up and using a barrel. Some of these are made from 'recycled food grade high density polyethylene plastic that have been thoroughly cleaned and assembled in the USA'.

  • Rain barrels collect rainwater runoff from rooftops and allow you to direct it to gardens and lawns where it can be infiltrated by plants and soil instead of washing over pavement.

  • Rain barrels slow rapid flow of water that enters the Huron River during heavy rains, helping to prevent volatile fluctuations in flows that cause erosion.

  • Rain barrels are also available at local retail outlets like Ace Hardware, Stadium Hardware and Downtown Home and Garden.

  • Some barrels can be made from recycled plastic, some large barrels can be adapted from food grade barrels no longer in service at very low cost. We adapted two reusable barrels that we got and are sometimes available at the ReUse Store on Industrial Rd.



Vote November 8th General Election


  • David Silkworth Independent for City Council 5th Ward: has shown a strong commitment to the need for better city management of flood hazard and pollution controls, he supports the Superfund EPA request for the Gelman Contamination, and he has an open independent mind on major issues facing our community. He has worked with the ACWG to further understand the issues facing the 5th Ward regarding flood hazard, pollution and new development pressures.

    • You can still vote the straight party ticket and select him and not affect the other straight party items on the ballot




Dan Bicknell's GEA Comments:


GEA Comments on the DEQ Shallow Groundwater Work Plan

As you know, CARD requested that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) allow CARD to review a draft Work Plan which it was preparing to investigate potential building vapor intrusion by dioxane in the West Park Area.  DEQ did not allow CARD to comment on the draft DEQ Work Plan.

Global Environment Alliance, LLC (GEA) has reviewed the attached DEQ prepared July 19, 2016 Shallow Groundwater Work Plan which was implemented by Gelman Sciences, Inc. (Gelman), see attached GEA comments to the Work Plan.  The Work Plan was to evaluate the potential for dioxane vapor intrusion into houses about the West Park Area due to shallow groundwater dioxane contamination.

The “Shallow Groundwater” Work Plan may not actually collect shallow groundwater from the shallow portion of the glacial till aquifer which is impacted with dioxane, but only perched water.   

The design of the Work Plan objectives, selection of the sampling locations, and use of temporary wells present significant technical deficiencies to:

1) identify generally the location and concentration of the shallow portion of the aquifer dioxane plume; and

2) determine generally whether buildings in the West Park and surrounding area may be in contact with the dioxane plume and, therefore, subject to the DEQ Proposed Part 201 Rules Volatilization to Indoor Air Tier 1 Screening Level.


Due to poor study design:

1) the work will likely result in the collection of no water or perched water at a number of the wells, not the shallow portion of the aquifer groundwater;

2) only one sample location is in the low areas of West Park and the surrounding area, which does not allow for the determination of whether buildings are in contact with the dioxane plume in these areas; and

3) the Work Plan did not collect data to determine the location and concentration of the current shallow portion of the aquifer containing the dioxane plume.

If you have any questions, please give me a call.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Daniel J. Bicknell, MPH

President

Global Environment Alliance, LLC

Phone - 248-720-9432

danjbicknell@live.com

geallc.org



Proposed Agenda: 

September 15, 2016
 

Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane Contamination Part of MDEQ Part 201 Environmental Cleanup Standards Comments

 
  • Public Comment period for Proposed Changes to MI Part 201 Environmental Cleanup Standards ends on September 13.
  • Many from various groups in Washtenaw County have submitted comment.
  • I, as part of CARD and ACWG, made comment at the DEQ June 1 Public Meeting at WCC earlier this year during a meeting to announce changes to Part 201. With many DEQ members in attendance it was clearly a good time to make comment even though they were not expecting Public Comment. I said public meetings should take public comments. They did have a recorder at the meeting to take comments. They did respond to some of our comments at that time.
  • It has been communicated from DEQ staff recently that the state may drop the 'Child Receptor' (child, pregnant woman and the fetus) in its calculations. This is a new development and one which should receive extensive push back from the Community, as the Regulated Community is working hard and spending a lot to get it removed. Many of the Public Comments we have seen from local groups and government have made this clear. Our public comments strongly supported the Child Receptor inclusion.
  • The ACWG and CARD had worked hard with U of M SPH members to get the DEQ to include the Child Receptor in the new standards. We were told by DEQ staffers it was not planned till ACWG, CARD and UM SPH researcher press for inclusion. UM SPH researchers attended many Part 201 Revisions task force meetings in Lansing to push hard to get this change included, and we thank them for this effort.
  • Vapor Intrusion is also a major change in Part 201 the ACWG and CARD have pushed for with 1,4 Dioxane flowing through the ground water of the city and potentially entering homes and businesses with groundwater or as a vapor through the basement walls. In a confined space of a basement concentrations may reach levels of concern especially if the home owner or businesses use the basement on a regular basis. Some home owners use the basement for offices, play spaces or bedrooms.
  • A small number of Shallow Well tests were done on the West Side of town. Results are still not available. Why this has not been expedited is of real concern.
  • A member of ACWG and CARD working at U of M SPH has submitted a Quick Turnaround federal grant proposal to study exposures of 1,4 D in SCIO Township. They are partnering with other SPH researchers and North Carolina State University researchers. NC State have found 3 to 8 ppb in drinking water and they propose a standard of .35 ppb in line with EPA standards and are doing extensive exposure and risk assessment analysis. Notification of the grant is expected soon. Others at SPH have also expressed interest in submissions on other aspects of the exposure including basement vapor intrusion modeling and risk assessment.
  • Recent NC State Report on 1,4 Dioxane In Drinking Water - Sept. 12, 2016:
  • 'Some of the highest levels nationally of a likely cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane were detected in North Carolina water systems in the Cape Fear River Basin, which supplies water to more than 120 public water systems used by 1.5 million residents.
  • "There was an expectation that we needed to do something instead of waiting for the state or federal government to figure out what to do. That didn’t seem like the right thing,” says Mick Noland, the chief of operations at Fayetteville’s water system where testing has turned up 1,4-dioxane levels as high as 8.8 parts per billion, 25 times higher than the EPA’s level of concern.
  • While EPA does not regulate 1,4-dioxane, it has calculated that long-term exposure to concentrations at .35 ppb could increase the risk of cancer in one out of 1 million people. North Carolina has calculated that the same concentration poses the same risk in waterways feeding water supplies. Higher concentrations would pose higher risks.' : NC Health News  (Bold by us)
  • Levels in Ann Arbor area were much higher then in NC in the last two decades and as recent as this year in Scio Township drinking water wells. Some are now drinking in the single digit levels of the compound.
  • Michigan uses 1 in 100K exposure, Ann Arbor, and the state prior to John Engler, use 1 in 1M exposure for risk assessment as NC does now. NC is clearly not known to be one of our more progressive states but in this case they are being much more protective then Michigan with support from local scientist. NC and NC Research Triangle Park is home to major CDC, EPA, NIH and NIEHS offices and home to UNC, UN State and Duke, and the largest health research center in the world.
  • Michigan is proposing a new standard at 7.2 ppb with 32 years exposure (less 2 weeks/yr vacations) 1 in 100K, not the EPA standard of 70 years exposure (no vacations).
  • 'The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century was signed into law early this month where the US EPA would finally have the authority to evaluate and regulate the tens of thousands of commercial chemicals it oversees in the U.S. But as the EPA begins implementing the new law, the chemical industry is already busy pushing the agency to limit scrutiny of various widely used, highly toxic chemicals. [It also] updates the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time since TSCA was enacted in 1976.' Link
  • EPA considers 1,4-dioxane a respiratory and nervous system hazard, skin irritant, a animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen.


City Council Working Session on Drinking Water Treatment Plant and Greenway Sept. 12; Greenway Meeting Sept 14


City of Ann Arbor Seal

  • On discussion of the Drinking Water Treatment Plant:
    • During the working session there were no discussions on how much it would cost to remove 1,4 Dioxane from the water if Barton Pond was contaminated.
    • Tucson Arizona spent many Millions, not including additional operating costs, to get their water down to 8 ppb which they are not happy with and are working very hard with much more funds to get it lower, to .35 ppb. The new plant may cost over $15 Million not including  additional operating costs which could add over $1M a year. They are also finding the 1,4 Dioxane Plume is moving much faster though the groundwater than predicted.
    • Moving up steam of Barton Pond for a water source is one option not discussed, the cost for that is not clear at this point and could be well over $30M to build a new dam not including the new water pipes needed. 
  • On discussion of the Allen('s) Creek Greenway:
    • No comments were made about the substantial flood hazard benefits of a Greenway, as noted by the ACWG for many years. Comments from the Washtenaw Drain Office several years ago supported this benefit.
    • Flood insurance reductions for residents and businesses would also be realized with reduction in flood hazard, also was not discussed.
    • No discussion of all the Floodplain properties currently being developed as opposed to set asides for a Greenway.
    • 10 of 16 city Environmental Sustainability Goals will be met with a building of a Greenway. Staff said he could not remember another project having this many goals met.
    • Riders off road will connect the B2B Trail which could increase bike riding tremendously as many folks do not like to ride in our street bike lanes for fear of cars hitting them. On the Greenway there may be no cars except at street crossings depending on the final route selected.
      • Studies clearly show folks on bikes and walkers spend a lot more money in town then drivers, don't pollute the air and water, don't need parking, make no noise, connect with nature and the community, and get great exercise a benefit to them and the community.
    • U of M at task force meetings did not seem to engaged in this planning contrary to comments. The ACWG had to bring up the fact that many folks walk down the track to Football and Basket Ball games. They made no comment although these folks area walking in an illegal path which the UM should be concerned and would think a Greenway next to the track would clearly help make it a much safer walk, as walkers and not drivers we should all be encouraging.
    • A laudable comment from staff was the hope that the design will be one where a 10 year old could reasonably be allowed to ride the Greenway without parental supervision.
    • It was not commented on that MDOT is very interested in the Greenway and B2B Trail and has suggested it would help cover some of the costs. This now seems to be their signature issue. And they are very supportive of the tunnel under the tracks to connect the Greenway to the B2B Trail and greatly reduce flood in the Allen's Creek as the RR brim currently acts as floodwater dam trying to get to the Huron River.
  • City Master Plan Greenway Meeting, Wed. Sept. 14, 8:30 am to 10:30, City Hall Council Chambers 2nd Floor.

City of Dearborn Heights Proposes Buying up to 15 Parcels in its Floodplain with FEMA Grants

  • City of Dearborn Heights recently proposed reducing flood hazard in their community by buying up to 15 parcels with homes in the floodplain mostly with FEMA Grant funds. Many other communities are doing the same with federal funds.
  • Dearborn Heights is not know for being a very progressive city but this will greatly reduce flood hazard and will likely reduce the FEMA Flood Insurance Rates for businesses and residents. And may allow then to join FEMA Community Partner Program lowering rates even more, something Ann Arbor is dragging its feet on for years.
  • This while Ann Arbor, 'the more progressive city', is building 60 or more new homes in the floodplain (!) and some just right up next to the Allen's Creek floodway which may cause our all ready sky-rocking FEMA Flood Insurance Rates for businesses and residents to go up even more. This is not to mention the additional flood risk to the new homes, but the additional risk posed by potential blockage of flows to unsuspecting up stream businesses and homeowners that would normally not flood. Ann Arbor may also be building new homes in old creek beds and wetlands according to residents near the developments on the east side. like in Lawton which has caused major flooding problems. Resident have threatened to file suit to stop the wetland for homes.
  • Flood risks for Ann Arbor, especially in the Allen's Creek, are poorly understood and we should not be building in the floodplain, and clearly not up next to the floodway. Global Warming are changing all assumptions about flood risk, with 1,000 and 10,000 year rains happening in the US. Staff and several consultants in recent years have commented at city meetings the poor caliber of our floodplain maps.
  • Federal funds virtually can not be used to build in the 100 year (1% chance) or in the 500 year (.2% chance) for critical structures.
  • President Obama recently discussed Global Warming threats as 'Terrifying' in a recent New York Times article and some Nobel Scientist have said it may be worse than the Nuclear Threat to our communities. He states its 'already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding'.
  • Global Warming is now: 'Climate change makes occurrences like the devastating August floods in Louisiana — the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012 — at least 40 percent more likely, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.' Link


Very Strong Sewer Smells Still at Arborview and Miller on the Near West Side



Great Ann Arbor near westside Neighborhood at Arborview and Miller

  • Residents of the area near Arborview at Miller have commented to city council members, staff and ACWG that they have an on going issue with very bad smells (sewage?) in their neighborhood. City has been notified but does not seem to be getting a handle on it.
  • I had talked to residents in the area in the past month and they are still very unhappy with the situation and wonder why it cannot be taken care of after several years of filing complaints to city officials.
  • If sewage flowing from Scio Township is the issue maybe it should be re-routed to a different location or changes made in the area. At this location there was a pump station removed years ago and gravity flow allowed to handle sewage flows. This may be an issue with very low flows through this area now with resultant smells. Rerouting sewage flows may need to be implemented.
  • Long past due to have this resolved. Some of the past comments were 'You would not believe the smells (sewage?) we are forced to put up with in this otherwise great neighborhood'.
  • The Ann Arbor Sewage Treatment Plant was originally largely paid for with federal funds and as such it was stipulated that the plant take a percentage of flows from neighboring communities to reduce pollution in the Huron River and its tributaries.



August 2016 No Meeting due to Vacation and Travel Schedules


Watershed Issues of Interest: 


Late Update 8/17/16 *: On the 1,4-Dioxane Contamination Gelman/Pall/Danaher Corp.

From Jennifer Conn, PE, REHS; Environmental Quality Analyst; Washtenaw County Environmental Health;

‘Gelman/Pall Corp. is conducting the shallow groundwater investigation this week – they started on Monday.  Hopefully we’ll have some results back prior to the next CARD meeting in September, however the laboratories may not be able to get the sample results out that fast.


The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted to continue considering petitioning for Superfund designation at the August 3rd meeting.  While the BOC are reviewing the Superfund application and the steps necessary to submit the petition, no definitive decision to move forward has been made.’



‘Rain Bombs’ Hitting the US Like Never Before due to Global Warming’s Effects while Ann Arbor City Council Seems to Ignore this Threat and Allows Many New Developments in the Poorly Defined Allen’s Creek Floodway and Floodplain

  • August 13-15. 2016 Super Storm obliterating rainfall and flooding records across the US.

  • '10,000 year Tax Day 2016 Monster Rain Event' hits Pattison, Texas.



Historic Rain obliterating the previous records

for SW MI and NW Ohio Aug 15, 16 (NOAA, WU)

(Right Click for Larger View)

  • SW MI and NW Ohio hit with massive historic rainfall amounts. ‘Monday's deluge set two distinct daily records, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service northern Indiana office. It set a new record for rainfall on Aug. 15 at 7.69 inches, obliterating the previous record for that date of 2.35 inches set in 1934. It also is the most rainfall on any date, surpassing the previous mark of 6.58 inches set on Sept. 13, 2008.' (Link)

  • Our city charter clearly states council may make planning determinations solely based on the detrimental effects on the safety and welfare of residents. This is generally not taken seriously by our council as was noted by some on council in last night's city council meeting vote on South Pond Development. The city and county have ignored good watershed best management practices (BMPs) for many years. The ACWG indicated that the South Pond Development Wetland Permit in the original proposal did not indicate that the proposed road to the north onto Huron River Dr. would illegally encroach on a Stream (Drain) easement in their application or presentation. The city belatedly disapproved the encroachment after the ACWG made protest comments in person and in writing. The city and county nearly built an illegal Homeless Shelter in the Allen's Creek Floodway until the ACWG and others showed it was illegal, federal law forbids new residential buildings in the floodway, at a loss of about $1M in tax dollars that should have been spent to help the homeless and support staff.

  • This storm came up from the south where it was also caused unprecedented devastating historic rain events.


August 12, 2016 Super Storm in Louisiana - 1,000 Year Storm (NOAA)

(Right Click for Larger View)



August 12, 2016 Super Storm in Louisiana - 1,000 Year Storm

(Right Click for Larger View, climatesignals.org)


  • August 13-14, 2016 at least 39 inches of rainfall in two days floods Baton Rouge.

  • Louisiana Governor's Mansion flooded, Governor forced to evacuate.  

  • This was a 1,000 year rain for the area!

  • This will be a multi billion dollar flood for Louisiana and the US.

  • Louisiana now has had a 500 year storm and 1,000 year storm in the last three months.

  • Some of the highest atmospheric water vapor levels ever recorded over Louisiana occurred during this storm, more than virtually all Louisiana hurricanes in recorded history.

  • This was the worst flooding in Louisiana recorded history, including all past hurricane events in recorded history.

  • Experts say the August 12, 2016 Super Storm in Louisiana is a once in a 1,000 year event, but 500-year event flooding has been recorded at least eight other times this year in Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, and Maryland.

  • This August 12 storm was not a Tropical Depression or Hurricane.



10,000 year Tax Day 2016 Rain Storm

(NWS/NOAA; Dennis Mersereau @wxdam)

(Right Click for Larger View)


  • 10,000 year Tax Day 2016 Rain Event: The local Pattison, Texas flood control district extrapolated the 23.5 inches of rain over 14.5 hours in Pattison, Texas, during the Tax Day storm to be a one-in-10,000-year event.

  • Over 26 Inches of Rain Triggers Record Flooding in the South, including the Sabine River, Texas on March 16, 2016.

  • June 2, 2016 Historic Deluge Hits Texas.  ... 'flash flood watches covered more than 183,000 square miles of Texas, an area about the size of Germany and England combined. More than 15 inches of rain fell just northeast of Houston in a span of 12 hours on Thursday, just a few days after more than 20 inches fell in two days northwest of the city—the region’s second 100-year rainstorm in less than a week.' (Link)


  • ... 'Statistical calculations like these make a major assumption: That the climate of the past is the same as the climate of today. That’s no longer a very good assumption.’

  • ‘It’s the latest in a string of exceptionally rare rainstorms that are stretching the definition of “extreme” weather. It’s exactly the sort of rainstorm that’s occurring more frequently as the planet warms.' (Link)

  • 'Climate change has already been shown to increase the amounts of rain falling in the most intense events across many parts of the world, and extreme rainfall events like this week's Louisiana storm are expected to grow increasingly common in the coming years.' (Ann Arbor's own Weather Underground, Wunderground.com; Link)

  • (bold by us)

  • Like Archimedes said 'Water seeks its own level at its own time!'





Proposed Agenda: 

July 21, 2016
 

Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane Contamination City Council with MDEQ Working Session 7-25-16 7PM

 
  • The City Council will be having a Working Session with the MDEQ officials to discuss on going plans to deal with the Gelman 1,4-Dioxaine groundwater and surface soils contamination. Scientist studying this contamination have said at public meetings that the Huron River, Allen's and Honey Creeks are probably already contaminated and potentially basements.
    • Working Session July 25, 7pm
    • City Council Chambers
    • Audience General Comment time will be at allowed, 3 minutes, during the Working Session
  • The new Director of MDEQ is a former Lobbyist for BP Oil Company. The State Government has been widely criticized for this appointment considering BP pollution in the Gulf and past MDEQ leaders outrageous ongoing health effects on Flint residents.
  • MDEQ has agreed to do ongoing tests of groundwater that is at the surface or in basements, and test the Allen's Creek up stream of the outlet into the Huron River. They would like to test Seeps in the near west side as well as close in west side homes with groundwater problems - wet, pooling or flood water in basements from groundwater. 
  • Initial test results reported of just one (!) seep at West Park showed no contamination, Non-Detect down to 1 ppb. 
  • Currently no additional tests have been reported.
  • Contamination of our groundwater very near or at the surface, in wet basements or in our creeks and streams would clearly be a violation of the very very weak MI Part 201 Environmental Cleanup Standards' placing city residents and businesses at real risk of environmental exposure of a toxic compound which the 'Prohibition Zone' (PZ) was ordered and said by the Judge Shelton's Court to 'easily handle and protect the community'. 
  • Flows to Barton have not been modeled and it may be heading for our drinking water source, flows north which caused the change of the PZ north after a year or so of being established, north toward Barton Pond, and soon may need to be moved north again as the plume keeps moving north.
  • At the SRSW, CARD and ACWG table at the Green Fair in early June discussion with a local resident MDEQ official working on the plume indicated to us plans to test for shallow groundwater contamination using shallow wells in the same area in the near future. This testing will go along with creek, seep and basement testing. The ACWG is glad this testing has finally started if only to gain a bench mark for future tests of any migration of the plume toward the surface.
  • There is on going discussions of a US-EPA Superfund Designation of the Gelman Cleanup request by local governments.
  • Ann Arbor and Scio Townships have both unanimously voted in favor of support.
  • Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners Ways and Means Committee unanimously voted basically for a resolution to support a Superfund Designation, as several Board Members indicated to us after the meeting. A vote of the full board is to be held in early August which they said they expect to easily pass.
  • The Serra Club Huron Valley has also voted to support US-EPA Superfund Designation.
  • The CARD Group has indicated a general support for the Superfund Designation option at the March 2016 meeting.
  • On March 21st Ann Arbor City Council has asked the Ann Arbor City Environmental Commission (EC) to review the option and report back to Council. The EC has very little expertise in this very complex geological, toxicological and hydologic issues and should not, it would seem, have been tasked with this evaluation.
  • Danaher bought Pall Corporation which bought Gelman Sciences, and is a $60B company with close to $11B in gross profits last year. As the responsible party it is now libel for cleanup costs if EPA were to accept Superfund Designation and would likely take it out of the state court, with the aid of the US Department of Justice.
    • With the problems of the MDEQ causing and handling of the Flint drinking water crisis it seems more important then ever to be proactive in protecting the drinking water of Ann Arbor and our environment.
    • The ACWG as part of CARD supports the Super Fund option discussion and what will be a request.



    CARD Group to Comment on New MI MDEQ Part 201 Environmental Cleanup Standards, Deadline Postponed



    State Law: Part 201 Environmental Cleanup Standars


    • CARD will make written comment on these new standards.
    • The public comment period has been postponed to September 13, pushing back the potential adoption date again.
    • Ryan Stanton at AA MLive has reported recently that the city has gotten indications that the state government will try to push this deadline up in coming weeks after pressure from the city.
    • The city, who negotiated itself out of the Contested Court Case years ago, would also like to be reinstated as our city is at real risk of the contamination.
    • Proposed 7.2 ppb for 1,4 Dioxane drinking water standard for MI for 1 in 100K cancer risk. EPA has set a cancer slope factor at 3.5 ppb standard for 1 in 100K or .35 ppb for 1 in 1M cancer risk for drinking water. MI used 32 years less 2 weeks vacation per year(!) while EPA used 70 years no vacations for exposures. MI is currently at 85 ppb. MI used 1 in 1M risk before changes by Gov. Engler Administration, and still is the standard in Ann Arbor.
    • Contrary to MDEQ comments about this exposure standard it has been reported in the last census data that MI is the #2 state in the US in 2010 for number of current residents who were born in the state. We are not a transient resident State.
    • Written comment is open from June 17 through September 13.
    • See MDEQ's Generic Cleanup Criteria Proposed Rules Revisions (posted May 2016) for details and comment information.
     

    The New Meijer in Manistee Installs three Porous Asphalt Parking Lots
     
       
    In this parking lot photo above the conventional parking lot is on the far left with standing water.


    Sign: "Porous Pavement Do Not Dump Sand on Pavement"

    The New Meijer Manistee MI Porous Asphalt Parking Lots (Right Click for larger view), ACWG
    • Meijer in Manistee MI opened a new store this year and installed three Porous Asphalt Parking Lots.
    • The top photo was taken during a heavy rain storm with the obvious non-porous lot to the left. The porous lot looks dry.
    • Both Meijer and Manistee are not know for being very radical, to say the least, and they are clearly seeing the benefits, both economic and environmental, of using porous pavements: to eliminate runoff, clean and detoxify, reduce plowing and salting, reduce slip and fall, reduced heat island, greatly reduced road noise, and proven longevity of the pavement. Mn Highway Dept. study in recent years showed it would be less costly to do their highways in porous pavement as 30% of construction costs were due to fresh rain water (stormwater) runoff, if additional durability tests show it feasible. Lower speed arterial porous roads have been shown to hold up better than conventional roadways, have much fewer potholes, and cost less, and is now in use in many states.
    • This is also a very cold region in northern lower Michigan with many freeze thaw cycles per winter. 
    • U of M has a new porous asphalt lot on Fuller Rd. that city staff tests have shown to handle up to 1,300" an hour of rainfall, about the same rainfall as 50 hurricanes passing over in one hour.


    Upcoming Ann Arbor City Council Primaries August 2nd
     
    Vote Aug 2nd
    • A On August 2nd Ann Arbor will have Primary Election Voting. Please vote.
    • With all the building in the Allen's Creek Floodplain and the Allen's Creek Greenway Master Plan finally started a lot is at stake.
    • We have three long time Allen's Creek, and city wide, watershed supporting candidates which we hope you will support:

    • Kevin Lesser 5th Ward Democrat, Supports EPA Superfund Status
    • Eric Lipson 4th Ward Democrat,  Supports EPA Superfund Status

    • Please also support Yousef Rabhi for State Representative - He has been working hard for us as our County Commissioner. He has made the Gelman contamination cleanup a major effort pushing for EPA Superfund status to get the cleanup moving.
     


    June 2016 No Meeting due to conflict with the Allen('s) Creek Greenway City-wide Public Meeting #1, Thursday June 16th, 6:30 pm (see details below).

     
     
    Watershed Issues of Interest:  


    Allen('s) Creek Greenway Master Plan Public Meeting #1 

    Arcadia Creek Greenway Daylighted Section, Kalamazoo, MI, DDA
    (Right click for larger image)
    • The Greenway Master Plan - First Public Meeting this week:
    Greenway City-wide Public Meeting #1  
    Thrs June 16th 
    6:30-8:30 p.m.
    In the Council Chambers at City Hall
    • We hope you can attend, get a overview of the plan options for the Greenway, ask questions and make comment on the options for a Greenway in Ann Arbor.
    • A Greenway in the Allen's Creek floodplain will greatly reduce flood hazard to hundreds of homes and businesses in the west side, will create a open gathering green space in the near downtown, connect to the Huron River and Border to Border Trail, provide alternative transportation to and from the downtown and river, provide festival sites for events, arts display locations and many other amenities that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
    • As part of the Community Rating System (CRS) with FEMA a Greenway could significantly lower Flood Insurance Rates in Ann Arbor which are going up each year. One homeowner in the floodplain was told by the city staff recently the rates are expected to go up 25% a year for the next many years. Unfortunately Ann Arbor currently does not qualify for this FEMA important safety and cost saving benefit for its home owners.
    • The tunnel under the railroad berm at Depot St. is being considered as a connector for the ACGW to the Huron River park space and, connect the Border to Border Trail which the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (owner of the track) has indicated is a high priority and is listed very high in the current City of Ann Arbor Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
    • Greenways in Michigan cities have shown great outcomes and promise both economically and environmentally, for example: 
      • The Arcadia Creek Greenway in Kalamazoo
      • Grand Rapids Grand River Greenway
      • Flint's Gilkey Creek Greenway
      • Detroit River Dequindre Cut Greenway 
      • Traverse City Boardman River Greenway
      • The Detorit Area Downriver Linked Greenways
      • Dexter Huron River Greenwy
    • Just one example of flood reduction and park benefits is the Arcadia Creek Greenway in Kalamazoo completed a few years ago - no flooding to the 500 year rain, in just a few years generated $12M/year in festival receipts, new park fees for events and increased tax revenues of the adjacent area by $400K/year.
    • All CAC meetings materials are available at city hall and online.



    Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane Contamination


    • The Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) this month discussed groundwater testing in the near west side.
    • Scio Township Unanimously supports EPA Superfund Designation on June 13, 2016 amended June 17, 2016
    • MDEQ has agreed to do ongoing tests of groundwater that is at the surface or in basements, and test the Allen's Creek up stream of the outlet into the Huron River. They would like to test Seeps in the near west side as well as close in west side homes with groundwater problems - wet, pooling or flood water in basements from groundwater. Contact Jennifer Lawson - Water Resources Manager at City of Ann Arbor jlawson@a2gov.org
    • Initial test results reported last week of one seep at West Park showed no contamination, Non-Detect down to 1 ppb. 
    • At the SRSW, CARD and ACWG table at the Green Fair last weekend discussion with a local resident MDEQ official working on the plume indicated to us plans to test for shallow groundwater contamination using shallow wells in the same area in the near future. This testing will go along with creek, seep and basement testing. The ACWG is glad this testing has finally started if only to gain a benchmark for future tests of any migration of the plume toward the surface.
    • WUOM had a very well attended (full) Issues and Ale event this month at Bill's Beer Garden with CARD member Roger Rayle - chair of SRSW, MDEQ representative Mitch Adelman and Ryan Stanton from MLive - Ann Arbor. Audio and Video of the event is posted on their web site. General questions from WUOM host Lester Graham were discussed at the start and many questions were later taken from the audience.
    • Dan Bicknell of the CARD Group (and Global Environment Alliance, LLC) has contacted the US-EPA this month regarding the potential establishment of a Maximum Contamination Level (MCL) for 1,4-Dioxane. This would be a federal standard. It had been discussed in the CARD group and by others that a new standard may be coming out in the next few years at a 3.5 ppb for 1 in 100K cancer risk and .35 ppb for 1 in 1M. He has learned that the US EPA is studying the compound and would not be able to set this standard for at least several years. EPA has been constrained by the Congress in recent years in setting new MCL standards, with less funding and a notion that it would be to large a negative effect on businesses.
    • Here is an Link to Washington Post Article (6/10/16) on setting MCLs and 1,4 Dioxane issues in North Carolina, and the difficulty EPA has in setting new MCL's even when the science indicates a clear need, link emailed to us by Jenn Conn Washtenaw County Public Health Department and CARD member.
    • Barbra Lucus - WEMU Green Room Series of Reports. The Green Room: The Ann Arbor Area's 1,4 Dioxane Plume-Part 11. "It’s been over three decades since Ann Arbor’s groundwater contamination was discovered, and throughout this time, citizen science and community advocacy have had a crucial role.  In this edition  of 'The Green Room,' Barbara Lucas looks at the uphill battle from its earliest steps." Interview with Dan Bicknell on origins of the contamination.
    • There is on going discussions of a US-EPA Superfund Designation of the Gelman Cleanup request by local governments. Ann Arbor Township as unanimously voted in favor of support. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners postponed a vote to support earlier this month. On March 21st Ann Arbor City Council has asked the Ann Arbor City Environmental Commission to review the option and report back to Council.
    • Danaher bought Pall Corporation which bought Gelman Sciences, and is a $60B company with close to$11B in gross profits last year. As the responsible party it is now libel for cleanup costs if EPA were to accept Superfund Designation and would likely take it out of the state court, with the aid of the US Department of  Justice.
    • With the problems of the MDEQ causing and handling of the Flint drinking water crisis it seems more important then ever to be proactive in protecting the drinking water of Ann Arbor and our environment.
    • The ACWG as part of CARD supports the Super Fund option discussion and what will be a request.
    • UPDATE 6-20-16: Sierra Club Huron Valley Group Supports US EPA Superfund
    Sierra Club Huron Valley Group passes resolution in support of Danaher/Pall/Gelman 1,4 Dioxane Plume US EPA Superfund Designation, following Ann Arbor and Scio Townships lead in support.

    From their announcement: 
    'We have had over 30 years of relative inaction with respect to the plume, and it continues to grow and endanger the Huron River Watershed, and the drinking water of the City of Ann Arbor.
     
    The current system is not working. It is absolutely critical that a more proactive process be put into place.'




    CARD Group to Comment on New MI MDEQ Part 201 Environmental Cleanup Standards


    Part 201

    • CARD will make written comment on these new standards.
    • Proposed 7.2 ppb for 1,4 Dioxane drinking water standard for MI for 1 in 100K cancer risk. EPA has set a 3.5 ppb standard for 1 in 100K or .35 ppb for 1 in 1M cancer risk for drinking water. MI used 32 years less 2 weeks vacation per year(!) while EPA used 70 years no vacations for exposures. MI is currently at 85 ppb. MI used 1 in 1M risk before changes by Gov. Engler Administration, and still is the standard in Ann Arbor.
    • Contrary to MDEQ comments and this standard it has been reported that in census data that MI is the #2 state in the US in 2010 for number of current residents who were born in the state. We are not a transient resident State.
    • Significant changes include the inclusion of exposure to pregnant women, children and vapor intrusion into homes and businesses.
    • ACWG Member Prof. Rita Loch-Caruso UM-SPH and Dr. Trish (Patricia) Koman UM-SPH were instrumental in getting changes to include exposures to pregnant women and children that were not originally proposed. They were two of the very few non-regulated community asked to attend the state taskforce meetings on proposed changes. Dr. Trish Koman attended many Lansing Meetings in support of tougher standards.
    • ACWG did attend the June 1- PART 201 PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING at Washtenaw Community College, and asked questions and made comment even though comment was not generally allowed at these meetings. Our comment included the notion that with all those in attendance (about 50 including many from the MDEQ) public comment was not going to be allowed was counter productive for public involvement.
    • Other members of the CARD Group also attended and asked questions, including from the County. No local elected officials seemed to be in attendance.
    • Written comment is open from June 17th through July 26th.
    • See MDEQ's Generic Cleanup Criteria Proposed Rules Revisions (posted May 2016) for details and comment information.



    Proposed Agenda: 

    May 19, 2016


    Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane Contamination



    • The Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) meeting this month had a large turnout including representatives from MDEQ and State Attorney General's Office (AG), with about 30 or more attendees.
    • The AG has preformed very poorly in the past in this effort during court appearances due to lack of interest or attention.
    • The meeting was covered, as other recent meetings, by the Ann Arbor News/MLive reporter Ryan Stanton in some detail.
    • MDEQ has agreed to do ongoing tests of groundwater that is at the surface or in basements and test the Allen's Creek up stream of the outlet into the Huron River. They would like to obtain the locations of Seeps in the near west side for testing as well as close in west side homes with groundwater problems. Contact Jennifer Lawson - Water Resources Manager at City of Ann Arbor jlawson@a2gov.org
    • I'm not sure what is taking the city so long to work with the DEQ. This is the 3rd public meeting they have said they want to test for water in seeps, basements or near basements and Allen's Creek. Our city leaders need to 'get with the program' and move on this. It has taken years of ACWG and CARD comments to get the DEQ to take this seriously, and a lower ppb standard around the corner, let's not drag our feet in working with them. As of the morning of the meeting nothing has been done by the city to support this request while it has been widely published.
    • Dr. Larry Lemke - a west side resident, geologist Associate Professor at WSU and longtime follower of this plume himself and with WSU students presented some results of modeling he and his student conducted.
    • It was said at the meeting today 1,4 Dioxane is probably in the Allen's Creek, in groundwater close to the surface and in the river and, may already be in some basements. It may be very low concentrations currently but we need to get out in front of this and start understanding the potential exposure that has not been addressed or even acknowledged till now.
    • When asked it was said the models presented today did not indicate this plume will not go under the river into Ann Arbor Township as is was not in the models.
    • The models indicate that the plume from the central location of the original site are not expected to go to Barton Pond but the high levels north of the central site have not been modeled and may pose a danger to Barton. Not enough funds have been provided by the polluter to insure our water supply is not at risk. Much of this modeling has been done is an effort of a scientist at WSU Dr. Lenke and his students looking hard for grant money to do these very difficult and complex geological investigations. 
    • The DEQ said at the Town Hall that Barton has a hydro-logic ‘block’, of out flow water into the soils around the pond, that will not allow groundwater to flow into it. That was refuted by Dr. Lemke. He indicated, from his perspective, it is not protected as was said at the Town Hall. Also it was reiterated that when the plume goes north toward Barton once it gets past M14 hydro logically it will be a ‘downhill run’ into Barton. This is why CARD has asked, and DEQ agreed, for more monitoring wells be installed in the northern area where there are few now and Judge Shelton dismissed that as unnecessary so they were not added.
    • He also commented that the Allen's Creek and Honey Creek could be a Sink for flows of the compound and should be tested for this. Honey Creek flows into Barton Pond.
    • When the Ann Arbor City Apartments, at 1st and Washington on the west side, were about to have groundbreaking the ACWG and CARD group asked who will deal with the lower level parking area below the water table, with potential leaks, if it gets contaminated. A Stop Work was issued by planners and new plans drawn with the building pushed up a full story to avoid this issue, for the city as it owns the parking area below the building. Homeowners don't have an easy option to elevate their homes in the same manner.
    • Dan Bicknell also presented at the meeting groundwater information that was presented by Pall in the past that showed the rise of groundwater as it moves through the city. It seemed to show very high groundwater table starting at West Park and to the Huron River. This groundwater could be contaminated from the lower levels and should be tested routinely for its presence, the DEQ seemed to agree, as they had previously.
    • Over the past few months there has been discussion by CARD of the option to propose the Pall/Gelman 1,4-Dioxane contamination be turned into a EPA Super Fund Site. This discussion includes public officials and government staff. CARD group has indicated a general support for this option at the March meeting. See the information regarding Pall/Gelman Super Fund Site Option in the past months Agenda Items. This information was created by Dan Bicknell with the help of Roger Rayle, both CARD members, and in general the CARD group.
    • With the problems of the MDEQ causing and handling of the Flint drinking water crisis it seems more important then ever to be proactive in protecting the drinking water of Ann Arbor and our environment.
    • Barbra Lucus - WEMU Green Room Series of ReportsPart 8 Looks at UofM lack of activity relating to this contamination and, the now off line, 'Risk Science Center' (RSC) funded by Chuck Gelman at UM-SPH. Interviews with the former head of the RSC featured regarding conflicts of interest.
    • The ACWG as part of CARD supports the Super Fund option discussion and what will be a request.



    City of Ann Arbor is Allowing the Development of the Allen's Creek Floodway and Floodplain, Changes Needed With Regard to Flood Hazard and the Treat to Life, Health and Property



    Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA)
     
    • This detailed report supports the floodplain and floodway development cautions described in the HRWC report sent out in our agenda last month.
    • Several developments have recently been approved and many more in the pipeline that are developing the floodway and floodplain with businesses and homes, with real issues related to the flood hazard that will be faced by the owners and the community.
    • Developing the floodplain and floodway not only effect the new owners but also put those up stream at greater risk of flooding, life, health, property loss and major threat to existing city property tax base.


    A new study just out April 25, 2016 Regarding Floodplain Management in Michigan


    • From the May 2nd 2016 issue of U of M University Record: 
      • "Changing climate conditions — including warmer temperatures and an increased frequency of heavy rainstorms — represent 'an emerging threat to public health in Michigan,' according to a new report from university researchers and state health officials."
    • This report by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments (GLISA) Program—a partnership between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
    • Key finding from the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences Assessments Program Report:
      • "Additional changes include an increased frequency of some types of weather extremes such as heavy precipitation events. These changing climate conditions have had an impact on both environmental and human systems, representing an emerging threat to public health in Michigan."
      • Ann Arbor - 29.4% increase in rainfall events over 1".
    • (underline by us)
    • Contributor to this report Dr. Larsen was a invited member of a recent City of Ann Arbor Climate Change Panel Presentation and Discussion and the very first thing she said in her opening statement:
      • 'First don't build in the Floodplains!'
    • Contributors to the report:
    Dr. Larissa Larsen, PhD
    Associate Professor of Urban and Regional
    Planning and Natural Resource, 
    University of
    Michigan - Ann Arbor

    Dr. Marie O’Neill, PhD
    Associate Professor of Environmental Health
    Sciences and Epidemiology, 
    University of Michigan - Ann Arbor



    Allen('s) Creek Greenway Master Plan CAC Started This Month 

     

    ACGC

    • The Greenway Master Plan started early this month.
    • We are glad the ACWG was included in this effort as a stakeholder, I volunteered to be in the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) which will take just under two years to complete
    • The ACWG will support a robust effort and a Greenway that is both a green space, alternative transportation, flood hazard mitigation design and, economic benefit to the city and region. We will not support a simple strip of pavement as a Greenway Trail as some have suggested.
    • As we have said for years, and the consultants showed at the CAC meeting, other Greenways in Michigan have shown great promise and this Greenway has the potential to be a major landmark, amenity and destination for the city.
    • All CAC meetings materials are available at city hall and online, we are glad to report.
    • The ACWG plans to work hard with the city residents, the Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy (ACGC) and the city to create the best and most cost effective Greenway possible.
    • Link to City of Ann Arbor Allen Creek Greenway Master Plan Project Web Page
    • Link to Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy ACGC



    Madison Green Street's Rain Gardens Installed This Month - No Notice to ACWG

     

    Miller Ave Rain Garden just after Installation - EWashtenaw.Org

     

    • The city installed the long awaited Rain Gardens on Madison as part of the Green Street Policy with some city funds and help from residents. The ACWG had plans to be of assistance and give notice to our members of this effort.
    • Unfortunately the ACWG was not contacted about the date and time of this effort even though we had been involved from from the beginning in the Green Street Policy.
    • We, with residents and CM Mike Anglin, asked for a meeting with staff to discuss not omitting the Rain Gardens on Madison and got agreement that they would be installed as originally planned.
    • Effective Community Outreach is critical for the city to get community engagement and support, and outside funding, this was not good Community Outreach.  
    • Madison did have installed large infiltration beds under the street in the upper quarter stretch of the street. It has been shown these streets are longer lived and less costly than conventional streets.
    • Most of the funds set aside for the original plan were no longer available as the plans did not fit the available locations. The original plans were from the Miller install and were not as adaptable as thought during planning. The design was changed from the original. 
    • Many communities have found the use of Soft Solutions like Rain Gardens are much less costly and more effective in the long run in the management of Fresh Rain Water (stormwater) and flood hazard mitigation then the conventional Gray or Hard Solution.
    • Some comments from residents in the area indicate a big reduction in fresh water (stormwater) runoff in the area with these improvements. Follow up tests to this effect would be very useful in continuing these Green Streets Policy efforts.
    • Springwater subdivision in southeast Ann Arbor latest street reconstruction to get Green Streets treatments.



    Floodplain Overlay Planning Voted Out of the City 2017 City Budget by Majority on City Council, Residential and Business Flood Insurance Rates Negatively Effected 

    June 14, 2015 - Major Flooding on Mary St. - UofM Athletic Campus Area -

    in Central Ann Arbor After Just Under 2" Rain

     
    • Council Members Jack Eaton, Sumi Kailasapathy and Jane Lumm had brought a resolution for Floodplain Management Overlay Ordinance at the first Council meeting in July.
    • This Resolution has been postponed twice by majority vote of our City Council and then voted down.
    • This was a resolution worked on by city staff with graduate students and faculty from UM who did considerable research and work to its end, and whose help had been requested by city staff.


    • Comments by the opposing council members indicated they would consider adding to the 2017 City budget which would be more appropriate avenue to take.
    • Unfortunately the option to include it in the 2017 budget was not supported by the majority on council.
    • Adopting this ordinance would have been part of the effort to meet the Federal Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS ranks cities according to their compliance with federal flood management requirements. Currently Ann Arbor does not participate in the CRS. With each improvement in our local flood management plan, City residents and businesses become eligible for larger discounts on flood insurance which is predicted to increase greatly for at least the next decade according to city staff and council comments and, published reports.



    (*Some agenda items may have been corrected for typos and include follow up updates when posted here.)