Middlegrounds Cleanup, Consumers ‘Net Zero’ Plan

For Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

1 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on a proposed soil cleanup plan for Bay City’s Middlegrounds Island. 

The plan is to remove contaminated soil from some residential properties on the island in the Saginaw River. The proposed plan is part of the larger ongoing cleanup of dioxins in the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, the agency says.

EPA officials will present the plan and take comments at a public meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at the Boys and Girls Club at 300 W. Lafayette Ave. in Bay City. 

Officials say historical operations at Dow’s Midland plant caused the release of toxic chemicals known as dioxins into the Tittabawassee River. Those dioxins moved downstream and mixed with sediment in the Saginaw River and bay.

The historical use of dredge materials from the river as fill on Middlegrounds Island is believed to have caused the soil contamination found in some residential yards there. 

The proposed plan involves removing the contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil to restore the yards.

Comments will be accepted until March 30. 

2 – Consumers Energy says it plans to reduce carbon emissions to “net zero” over the next two decades by eliminating coal from its fuel mix and boosting use of renewable power sources.

The announcement follows the release last year of a plan for providing electricity to millions of Michigan residents by 2040.

five bulb lights
Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

Consumers hasn’t settled on all of the details of its net zero plan, but officials say 90 percent of the savings will come from phasing out coal-fired power plants and helping users boost efficiency and lessen waste.

Consumers has retired coal-fired units at its complex in Bay County’s Hampton Township; other plants there are set to close in 2023

The net zero plan drew praise from environmental groups including the Michigan Climate Action Network.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR (now streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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