Commission approves pact to remediate Cliffs-Dow property

Marquette city officials survey a stream of toxic wood tar uncovered during excavation at the former Cliffs Dow site several years ago. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Commission Monday night unanimously approved a contract with TriMedia Environmental and Engineering to oversee remediation at the former Cliffs-Dow site.

Last month, Michigan Veteran Homes ended negotiations on the former Cliffs-Down property as a potential location to build a new D.J. Jacobetti Veterans Home after liability issues concerning chemical contamination on the property could not be resolved.

The agreement with TriMedia includes a $125,000 cost to the city for an assessment at remedial action plan for the former Cliffs-Dow property. The city was awarded a Brownfield clean-up grant from the EPA.

“We’ve been working with the grant (coming up on two years) and were approved for just over $950,000, close to a million there, to try some new testing and also putting in a system that will clean the groundwater and really try to remediate more over there and control that,” Marquette City Manager Karen Kovacs said.

Pig iron and wood chemicals were produced on site until it closed in 1969. The city bought the property in 1997.

“TriMedia had one of the most thorough proposals out there and addressed the current state it is in and also what future improvements could look like utilizing their process,” Kovacs said.

Kovacs said this is a multi-year grant. The design and pilot is expected to be done at the end of this year.

Work would continue over the next two years.

Vickie Fee cal be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 540. Her email address is vfee@miningjournal.net.


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