Envirologic worked to demolish the former Acme Industries site, a 100-plus-year-old manufacturing site with a 150,000-square-foot, multi-story building adjacent to the Grand River in Jackson, Michigan. Vacant and in a state of severe disrepair, the Acme property was an iconic brownfield site to the area. Previous assessments had found contamination of such significant levels that exposure to ambient air on the site was considered unacceptable, discouraging any potential development. An extensive environmental investigation was warranted to better assess this issue.
Several environmental investigations and an asbestos survey were completed by Envirologic at the Acme site over the past 15 years. In 2009, the local community secured a federal appropriation ($332,500) for the demolition of the structures. Envirologic assisted with the necessary Section 106 Environmental Review, historic recordation process, and other program requirements to access the funds. Because of the environmental condition of the site, careful demolition practices were necessary to preserve the integrity of the concrete slabs that were to remain as a barrier to contaminated material. Using U.S. EPA Assessment Grant funds, Envirologic completed cleanup planning activities, including preparation of demolition specifications. Envirologic developed a bid specification package, organized the bidding process, evaluated bids, and presented a decision memorandum to the Decision Committee. Envirologic provided daily oversight during asbestos abatement and demolition and helped organize community outreach activities.
Following demolition, attention turned to developing a better understanding of environmental contamination issues associated with the property. Available U.S. EPA Assessment Grant funds were allocated (~$31,000); to leverage this project, Envirologic worked with the Jackson County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (JCBRA) to secure additional services from the MDEQ using their U.S. EPA funds. Specifically, Envirologic secured the state's analytical laboratory services for this project; 136 soil samples were collected and analyzed by the state at no cost to the JCBRA.
Working with the U.S. EPA Project Officer and using a somewhat unique approach, 10% of the county's U.S. EPA Brownfield cleanup Revolving Loan Fund ($100,000) was allocated to monitor the public's exposure to hazardous substances. These resources combined to provide adequate funding for a thorough assessment of the potential exposure to airborne contaminants. The preliminary results of the assessment indicate that there is no adverse exposure through inhalation of ambient air on site, effectively restoring the opportunity for future site development.
Work continues to refine the vision for development and secure resources to return this property to productive use. This project example illustrates Envirologic's in-depth understanding of the brownfield programs available to communities and the creative ways in which those programs can be leveraged.
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