|Water contamination & a treatment |
facility in Little Traverse Bay?
Residents in the area of Petoskey, Michigan found out that CMS Land wants to stop hauling mercury-contaminated water 60 miles to an injection well for disposal. Instead the company wants to build a treatment facility and release the treated water into nearby Little Traverse Bay. While the company claims the treated water will meet federal clean water quality standards, it won’t be free of mercury.
For the past five years CMS Land says it has been disposing of the contaminated water from an old cement plant by hauling it in trucks to Traverse City and Johannesburg. On some days, 310,000 gallons of water make the trip in 27 trucks. CMS was a partner in the 1994 brownfield redevelopment of the 1,200-acre area that put East Park and Bay Harbor on the map. Part of that redevelopment included reclaiming a limestone quarry and the cement plant site. Residents are divided in their support of the company's hazardous waste cleanup.
According to some accounts CMS Energy, the parent company of CMS Land, has a marginal environmental record. It was rated a C- by the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College in its 2009 Utilities, Gas and Electric Sectors Analysis. The report is called a “benchmarking tool for online sustainability reporting” as it is an analysis of how America’s largest corporations voluntarily report on social and environmental issues related to their operations. Its shareholders tried twice to force CMS Entergy to change its environmental policies. In May, Jeff Holyfield, a company spokesman, said the company would add a social responsibility page to its Web site by year’s end.