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E-M:/ Re: diffuser on the Grand River

Enviro-Mich message from Nick White <whitenic@pilot.msu.edu>

 From: rsherman@umich.edu
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997 20:43:48 -0400 (EDT)
X-Sender: rsherman@joust.rs.itd.umich.edu
To: Nick White <whitenic@pilot.msu.edu 
Subject: Re: diffuser on the Grand River

 I am forwarding this to all of you, I thought some people would be
interested in it.  A fellow student at UM emailed it to me, unfortunately
the comment date is the 22nd, so phone calls are the only option, to late
for letter writing.
         A company named Oxy-USA applied for a high velocity diffuser
    discharge permit on the Grand River below Ada, Michigan.  In basic terms,
    they will be discharging a lot of brine, a by-product of oil refining. 
    There are alternatives to this method, but they cost $$$$.  I was
informed of this over a year ago, and while I was waiting for the
information to go
    out on the web to respond for public comment, somehow it does not need to
    go out on the web (no comment on the current practices of environmental
    degradation within the state of Michigan). 
         While the Grand usually gets a bad rap, downstream from this area,
    there is a beautiful mussel fauna (this is the area most of the poachers
    target). I saw it.  In fact, we found a species of special concern there
    in August, 1996.
         So, here are the facts:
         1)  There is a species of special concern--the purple wartyback,
    Cyclonaias tuberculata approximately 3 miles downstream from this area.
    This was recorded by biologists August 15, 1996.  The velocity and
    concentration of the brine in the mixing zone is supposed to make the
    immediate area uninhabitable but the "area" of the mixing zone is not
         2)  The average amount of chlorides discharged now are 8390 mg/l
    (17820 mg/l maximum).  TDS to be released are 10919 mg/l average (24304
    mg/l).  It doesn't specify in the permit how much is to be added, but I
am assuming it is double.  Brine kills freshwater mussels (and other
stuff, I'm sure). 
         3)  If you want to write the state, the address is:
          JoAnn F. Kalemkiewicz
    	  Permits Section
    	  Surface Water Quality Division
    	  Department of Environmental Quality
    	  P. O. Box 30273
    	  Lansing, MI  48909
          (telephone 517-335-4126)
         4)  THE DEADLINE IS MONDAY, SEPT 22 (they also back-dated the
    application to get it through faster).  At best, you can request them to
    be more specific on the details of the application, and tell them you are
    concerned about the mussel fauna.
         If I can provide any more factual information, please e-mail me.  
    If you want to use a statement about the declining population of mussels,
    you can say this:
         "North American mollusks in the family Unionidae are one of the most
    imperiled faunas in the United States.  Of approximately 297 North
    American species recognized in the family Unionidae, 18 are considered
    extinct, 42 are recognized by the U. S. Federal Endangered Species Act,
    and approximately 74 are considered for Federal listing." 
          I will also leave a copy of the permit application in my SNRE mail
         Thanks for your time.
         Not Peter, but Renee Sherman

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