DEQ updating cleanup standards

DEQ updating cleanup standards

LANSING — A new set of proposed standards for the cleanup of hazardous substances is on the horizon.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is working to update the standards which set limits for concentrations of such substances in soil or groundwater when cleaning up a contaminated area. This is the first time in fifteen years that the standards have been changed.

“Obviously in a period of fifteen years, information about hazardous substances – particularly their toxicity – can change,” said Bob Wagner, Chief of the DEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Department. “In some cases, they’re less toxic than they were thought to be fifteen years ago, or they could be more toxic. We’d like to shorten the time frame for update to about a three-year process going forward. It would provide everyone with a smaller ‘bite’ – if you will – of information instead of such a large package.”

Wagner said the proposed changes will be released in the next week. After that, they will face public comment over the summer and eventually a legislative review before being adopted. That process could take six to nine months.