Note from the Supervisor:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In response to concerns regarding water quality in China Township I have further information that I would like to share. It’s unfortunate that everyone who reads from sites other than the official China Township Site would be incited before all the facts are out there. The Huron Development Landfill was closed years ago and I was the one who personally got the ball rolling to have it officially closed and capped. That was sorely needed.
Speaking with Steve Demmick, County Environmental Sanitarian, today he noted that the State is testing the landfill site wells first. It will take approximately 6 weeks to see results. Based on their findings, that will identify whether or not additional well testing beyond the site is warranted. Mr. Demmick stated that over the entire state, of those areas that have already been tested, only 1 % tested positive. That is certainly reassuring.
Please rest assured that the wells surrounding that area have been tested periodically. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
China Township Supervisor
For more information please check this link: https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse/
Here is a copy of the note sent from the DEQ dated April 11, 2019:
As per your request for a copy of any reports with current testing information (i.e., groundwater sampling – DEQ terminology), attached are the two most recent reports that were finalized for this project with documentation of the last time DEQ obtained samples for laboratory analysis. As you are aware, RRD has spent a significant amount of time (1998 to 2010) and resources (over a million dollars of tax payer’s money) at this facility for the protection of public health, safety, welfare and the environment.
The original conditions of the landfill in the late 1990s consisted of exposed waste, water filled cells, and the landfill property not secure. Between 1998 and 2004, a perimeter fence was installed and major repairs occurred to the on-site road. An appropriate soil cover was placed over the former waste cells, and the property has been seeded with vegetation that is necessary for the protection of the soil cover from erosion. In addition, former Cell F, which was water-filled and reportedly 20 feet deep, has been filled in and converted into a healthy wetland area. This approach was purposely utilized because wetlands have proven resilient in cleaning up (and/or containing) any contaminants that may enter this ecosystem. The sampling of the surface water in ditches that border the landfill have not reported any contamination above residential cleanup criteria (Table 1 in first attachment) with the exception of Iron, which is also a naturally occurring compound in nature.
From 2005 to 2010, RRD install 16 methane vent wells and maintained the landfill property by cutting the grass. As the photos in the attached reports indicate, the contractors found lots of debris (mostly wood and metallic materials) scattered across the property (that were sent to recycling facilities) as well as about a dozen orphan drums. The drums had likely been there for decades and any fluid inside the drums had leaked out leaving a “dry sludge” in some of the drums (others were empty). After staging all the drums in one area, a special contractor was retained and transported the drums to an approved disposal facility (see Appendix D in the second attachment).
All sampling work at this site ceased in 2010 due to a monetary shortfall in cleanup funds throughout the state that continued for nearly a decade. As a way to evaluate the primary risk at this facility (i.e., drinking water pathway), the last task that was performed was evaluating the private well data collected for this project since 2006. Figures 4 through 8 in the second attachment is the best evidence collected to date that any contamination associated with the landfill is not impacting the deep aquifer because of the 100+ foot thick clay layer that isolates the groundwater bearing aquifer from the landfill itself. Clay is a natural sealant and does not allow fluids to migrate away from a source area. Based on these findings and that the conditions at the landfill have been stabilized and secured, all sampling activities were indefinitely suspended.
Please be advised that RRD has not “tested” (sampled) any on-site wells since 2010 because this activity requires special equipment and expertise that only an environmental contractor (not DEQ staff) can perform. Hiring a contractor takes resources that RRD has not had in nearly a decade. That said, it should be noted that since 2011, the DEQ continued sampling private water wells nearest to the landfill (using the health department) until 2013, and also performs routine inspections of the property to make sure the fence is secure (walking the perimeter) and the condition of the wells, especially the methane vents, are intact and functioning as designed. Until conditions change that warrant additional sampling work (i.e., Testing”), our current strategy is to continue inspections and visually monitor the situation at the landfill.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Welcome to our website! This is a great example of what China Township is all about. We hope you will find this a great addition to our Township and a useful tool for accessing information on the Internet Highway! I encourage you to visit us often, as we will be making regular updates to keep you current.
China Township has been blessed with a very professional staff of department heads and employees who are dedicated to the citizens of China. Through their efforts we provide many quality services to our community. For details, please refer to the department pages in our website.
I'm often asked, "What does a Supervisor do?" I liken it to keeping a pulse on the Township and keeping abreast of any and all new changes in legislation that affects you and I and our quality of life. Its a big job, no one knows that better the I what an awesome responsibility you, the electors, have entrust me with and I continue to work diligently on your behalf by learning something new every day. It's what I call "continuing education."
The job of the Supervisor also entails the day-to-day activities of the township. Often there can be the misnomer that the Supervisor is the "Boss"- certainly this elected office of Supervisor has the responsibility to oversee the hired staff members. When it comes to the other elected officials that same title as "Boss" does not hold true. They are elected by the people, to serve the people. They are each accountable - each of those elected, represent one vote.
China Township has a population of 3,551 and is a 6-square mile area with Fred Moore Highway our boundary to the north, Marine City Highway at the south end, Mayer Road to the west, and King Road, for the most part. Also included, a few jogs east on St. Clair Highway, a short way on Bree Road, and surrounding neighbors, but with one of the best school districts around and a low tax base, it has many advantages.
I guess I am just a country gal at heart and so enjoy living in the country with my husband, Jerry, of 52 years on our Sesquicentennial farm in the heart of China Township on Allington Road, where we raise Llamas and alpacas. We have been blessed we have been blessed having our family living just down the road from us. China Township is a great place to live and raise our families. Join with me in saying "Amen"!