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Concern grows over methane leaking at Clinton Township park built on old landfill

Posted at 6:22 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 18:22:33-04

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — There are growing concerns over methane gas leaking at a park that once was a landfill.

State and local officials are monitoring levels at Prince Drewry Park in Clinton Township, next to an elementary school.

Community advocates, including Gregory Murray of the Michigan Advocacy Coalition, say more needs to be done to make sure the area is safe.

“It causes concern particularly given the fact that children play in this park and attend that school over there,” he said. “This is potentially... potentially another Flint.”

State officials sent out a letter over the summer stating concerns about methane gas leaking at Prince Drewry Park in Clinton Township, near Parker elementary.

This park was a landfill and across Quinn Road was an incinerator until 1999.

The state monitors this area and raised some concerns in July.

Environmental quality investigators measure Methane gas coming from wells in the ground.

Township officials have been doing their own tests too.

Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon explained, “We are confident that, right now, there is no danger to anyone at this park or with the school.”

The issue, Cannon says, is when methane travels underground instead of out of the wells and into the air.

“It is not migrating, which was the important thing and the levels are really low and they are going up to the atmosphere.”

Some folks, like Bishop D.L. Bradley from Bethlehem Temple Apostolic Faith Church, says residents have not been properly informed about the issue.

“The community now is becoming aware of what’s going on and I think they are going to be alarmed,” he said.

They want the park and school closed and the area remediated.

“We want an environmental impact assessment done as a it relates to potential negative health impacts that has not been done,” Murray explained.

But township officials say that could cost millions of dollars and isn’t necessary as long as the methane gas comes up the wells in an acceptable level.

Cannon added, “This is not another Flint, this is something thats being monitored very closely and very carefully.”

State and township officials say they will continue testing. Cannon says they will decide the next move once they get more information and test results from the state.