Michigan Clean Water Action was invited to participate in the 20th annual Adopt a River cleanup day. Seeing residents come together as a community to clean up our Grand River is truly an inspiring event. However, the promise of “Pure Michigan” means Michigan and the residents of Lansing must do more to protect our invaluable water.
Water not only literally defines our state, it is key to our economy and to our Great Lakes way of life. Lansing and the state of Michigan can be leaders in preserving our rivers, lakes and streams by updating our stormwater systems through implementing green infrastructure design that focuses on capturing water where it falls.
April 1 was no joke in Lansing, Michigan, when equipment at a power plant malfunctioned and caused 300 gallons of oil to leak into the Grand River. Two days later in Chalmette, Louisiana, a pipeline connected to a drum full of chemicals broke, releasing the toxic liquid into the surrounding area, along with airborne cancer-causing agents. These two incidents followed even worse disasters in Mayflower, Arkansas and West Columbia, Texas. This means that the U.S. endured four spills over the course of two weeks. And still, oil companies have not been brought to justice.
Officials from Clean Energy Now said a film of residue released by the Trenton Channel Power Plant and spread across the Trenton community Wednesday can cause cancer and other health problems.
Ash released from the coal-burning plant was said to contain carcinogens like arsenic and hexavalent chromium, and other harmful pollutants like lead and mercury, according to a Clean Energy Now release.
Trenton residents reported finding their cars, houses, yards and personal property covered in a thin layer of black soot.
Randi Berris, media relations for DTE Energy, said the ash released was nonhazardous.