The Davis Creek Business Park was home to the Lakeside Refinery from 1939 to 1986. Storage of petroleum products continued on the site until the early 1990s, when it was abandoned. Numerous releases of petroleum products from previous operations resulted in soil and groundwater contamination. In the early 2000s, the City of Kalamazoo (City) acquired the site through tax-reversion. The City applied to the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (KCBRA) for assistance in evaluating site conditions, specifically methane generation from degrading petroleum contamination, using the KCBRA's U.S. EPA Brownfield Petroleum Assessment Grant. The City and KCBRA agreed to a collaborative effort, sharing funding ($40,500 and $135,000, respectively) to expand the methane investigation to support future development.
In February 2009, Envirologic installed a series of Temporary Methane Monitoring Points (TMMPs) to further evaluate the distribution of methane in soils at the site. Methane samples were drawn from the TMMPs on a monthly basis from April 2009 to August 2010. Significant concentrations of methane were identified in the northwest corner of the site. Soil vapor transmission testing was therefore conducted to determine whether conventional methods of sub-slab vapor controls could be employed during future site development. In addition, a feasibility study was completed to determine whether the methane present was of sufficient quality and quantity to generate electricity using microturbine technology. The results of the investigation provided a better understanding of methane distribution and movement and reaffirmed that development of these parcels could proceed with the use of routine vapor mitigation methods.
The collaborative effort between the City of Kalamazoo, KCBRA, Envirologic, MDEQ, U.S. EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and MEDC resulted in an investment of over $18.5 million and created an opportunity for development and alternative energy potential at the Davis Creek Business Park.
The KCBRA and the City relied upon Envirologic not only for project-related work (due diligence, etc.), but also to ensure that activities were completed in accordance with the grant requirements and the Cooperative Agreement between Kalamazoo County and the U.S. EPA. These activities included determining the eligibility of properties for grant-related activities, Quarterly Reports, Property Profile Sheets, and interaction with the MDEQ for eligibility of petroleum sites. Envirologic advised the City on the strategic use of the funds to promote their specific goals (e.g., stemming urban sprawl, providing economic growth).
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