ESLA President Supports DEQ Action to Rectify Discharges into Elk Lake

The basis of this complaint centers around discharges from the Burnette Foods, Inc. spray irrigation site alleging that adjacent wetlands, a downstream creek and Elk lake are being adversely affected. The resulting investigation by the DEQ revealed saturated soils, ponded effluent vegetation stained black (from the effluent), standing water, and surface water runoff anaerobic soil conditions reflecting waste water runoff too high for the existing site. The DEQ issued an official violation confirming the leaching and discharge of wastewater into the wetlands, creek and Elk Lake. This discharge was being done without the benefit of a current permit, since Burnette Foods had allowed a previous permit to expire. Even with a permit, the level of discharge and the soil saturation at the surface and subsurface level are greater than what would be considered acceptable by any standard, potentially impacting area well water systems and the leaching discharge into the watershed. Burnette Foods has been ordered by the Michigan DEQ to cease and desist any further discharge and pursue actions to determine the reason and extent of the release and to conduct clean-up activities

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