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Local News

DEQ, Little Thornapple River drain board/DEQ consent agreement to be signed this week

An Administrative Consent Agreement between an intercounty drainage board and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality outlining the steps to be taken in the restoration of the Little Thornapple Drain is expected to be signed this week by the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

 

“They’re good with it, the DEQ is good with it, we’re good with it, so we’re moving forward,” Barry County Drain Commissioner Jim Dull said. They worked on the restoration as they waited for the DEQ to approve remediation plans submitted by Aaron Snelling, cofounder of Streamside Ecological Services. “We did it, knowing it had to be done… the DEQ is making it official,” he said. “We’re going from no agreement at all two years ago to a signed agreement this week. I’m real happy.”

 

The signing will lessen the pressure of  “wondering what happens if they don’t come to the table,” he added. His best estimate on the amount of work left on the restoration project is between 30 and 40 percent.

 

At its November meeting, the board agreed with its attorney Stacy Hissong’s advice to post a $600,000 bond, ask that Streamside complete all actions by the board to do with the project and to approve hiring Paul Forton, an engineer with the Spicer Group, to work with the Barry County Road Commission on a required road crossing.

The intercounty drain board is made up of drain commissioners from three counties; Dull, Ken Yonker from Kent County, Robert Rose from Ionia County and Brady Harrington, chair of the MDARD.

 

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