Looking Beyond Our Own Backyard

Looking Beyond Our Own Backyard

The Jordan River is a ground water fed, blue-ribbon trout stream in northwest Michigan. When an underground disposal well was proposed in the area that is the source of ground water to the Jordan, the Friends of the Jordan River had a lot of questions. The well was to dispose of leachate from cement kiln-dust piles located at a former cement factory, now an upscale resort on Lake Michigan. After exhausting the public participation process, the status of the well is now in the hands of the courts. However, new information continues to arise influencing the best treatment options and potential alternatives to the disposal well.

JoAnne Beemon, board member of Friends of the Jordan River shared, “It is easy to get caught up in the details of the issue and not see what the best next steps are. Freshwater Future staff helped us identify the priorities for our issue—who to talk to and what to talk about.”

“We are now sending letters to our legislators to let them know of the most recent information and the need for their involvement to make sure that permit decisions are made using all the scientifically sound information,” added JoAnne.

The circuit court issued an indefinite stay in mid-August blocking the well from being built. In the meantime, the Friends of the Jordan River’s work keeps the issue in the forefront with the community and surfaces important questions and scientific perspectives not previously considered.

“Friends of the Jordan River got involved to protect the Jordan River. But we want to make sure that the pollution at the site is taken care of and doesn’t harm Lake Michigan either,” added Beemon.

For more information visit www.friends ofthejordan.org.



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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.