Brownfield Redevelopment, Cadillac, Michigan


A developer for a national retail chain selected Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) to assist with the redevelopment of a contaminated former service station (the Site) located in Cadillac, Michigan.  On behalf of the developer, LEI completed the appropriate cleanup liability protection documentation required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  In addition, LEI prepared a Brownfield Plan Amendment (BPA) that was approved by the Cadillac Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and City of Cadillac (City).  Simultaneous to the BPA approval, LEI prepared an Act 381 Work Plan and DEQ Loan Application.


The Work Plan was approved by DEQ and approximately $143,000 in DEQ loan funds were provided to the City to assist the developer with eligible environmental costs associated with the redevelopment of the Site.  The loan funds were utilized to facilitate the completion of the following eligible environmental activities: soil sampling; soil gas monitoring; preparation of loan work plans; oversight of contaminated soil/debris excavation and disposal; due care oversight and reporting.  New tax revenue generated from the project will be utilized to repay the DEQ loan.

LEED Development Planning

Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) was contracted to determine the feasibility of converting an existing sand mine into a LEED residential and commercial development utilizing sustainable concepts.  Conceptual planning involved a review of zoning documents, an evaluation of potential environmental concerns, and a renewable energy use assessment.  Based on the findings from the conceptual planning, recommendations were made identifying three alternative land-use plans, which incorporated wind, solar and geothermal energy applications, LEED residential and commercial structures, native landscaping, previous surface features, and sustainable sewer and water supply systems.

Superfund Site, Northern Michigan

State regulators awarded Lakeshore Environmental the contract to clean up groundwater contamination at a former dry cleaning facility. Dry cleaning solvents at this EPA Superfund site were threatening the quality of local drinking water supplies and the ecological stability of a “blue ribbon” trout stream and national wild and scenic river. Lakeshore’s responsibilities included the following tasks:

  • Monitoring well installations
  • Collection of soil samples
  • Produced geologic cross-sections illustrating soil lithology and groundwater flow
  • Determined the horizontal and vertical extents of contamination
  • Upgraded previously installed recovery equipment
  • Continuously monitored contamination levels, adjusted recovery equipment to maximize effectiveness of remediation efforts
  • Worked in unison with the state regulators to monitor the extent of contamination
  • Measured groundwater drawdown to define the product capture zone and analyze treatment effectiveness

The project has resulted in the successful capture of the plume and contamination has not reached the river.

Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup and Recovery, Spring Lake, MI

An equipment malfunction at a retail gasoline filling station resulted in an underground product release. Lakeshore Environmental determined the source of the release, the extent of free product plume, and the extent of groundwater and soil contamination. Lakeshore’s quick response resulted in the immediate recovery of most of the spilled gasoline. This recovered product was refined and sold as vehicle fuel. Lakeshore completed the following response activities:

  • Monitored public storm and sanitary sewers for petroleum infiltration
  • Represented the owner at contentious municipal and public meetings
  • Determined horizontal and vertical extents of contamination through monitoring wells and soil sampling
  • Inspected adjacent properties for evidence of contamination
  • Designed and installed the system that recovered over 25,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline
  • Reduced the owner’s liability through reduction of punitive fines and negotiated with insurance adjusters
  • Remedied the site to a level of “no remaining contamination.”

As a result of the project’s success, Lakeshore wrote the municipality’s first groundwater ordinance, addressing well abandonment and groundwater containment protocol.

Auto Parts Manufacturer – Regulatory Compliance

The world headquarters of an international automotive supplier contracted Lakeshore Environmental for guidance in preparing permits and programs to meet state and federal environmental regulatory and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Lakeshore navigated through the maze of regulatory requirements, minimizing the required submittals. After a series of onsite surveys, interviews and monitoring, the client was provided:

  • OSHA compliance and training seminars
  • Wastewater monitoring and wastewater quality reports
  • Annual SARA Title III (Community Emergency and Community Right-to-Know) reports
  • Spill and storm water contingency plans
  • Obtained air quality permits
  • A computerized compliance tracking system

Lakeshore’s industrial compliance experts met the client’s immediate needs in a timely and cost effective manner. To facilitate compliance, Lakeshore developed a tracking system to assist with compliance submittals.

Foundation Design and General Site Preparations, Norton Shores, Michigan

Lakeshore conducted the first geotechnical investigation for the property now occupied by the shopping centers, restaurants, and hotels west of a large mall, which at the time the property was merely blueberry fields. Lakeshore’s report provided recommendations for shallow foundation design, groundwater interference, and pre-construction subgrade preparation.

During a later phase, Lakeshore completed a site-specific investigation for the site of a national chain department store, which focused on foundation recommendation for their standard store construction.

Lake Association & Township Lake and Watershed Management Plan

Lakeshore Environmental conducted a comprehensive lake study of a 286-acre lake located in Michigan to assist a Lake Association with the development of a long-term Lake and Watershed Management Plan. The lake contained over 25 acres of Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and received external inputs of nutrients and sediments from the surrounding watershed. As a result of the study findings, the Lake Association considered a solution including the use of systemic aquatic herbicides, possible implementation of a lake-wide laminar flow aeration system and integration of watershed management practices. During the course of the study, Lakeshore:

  • Conducted whole-lake aquatic vegetation surveys of the lake to document the presence and relative abundance of aquatic plant native and non-native species
  • Evaluated the overall health of the lake ecosystem and trophic state
  • Addressed watershed land use issues such as erosion and sedimentation to improve water quality within the lake
  • Developed Best Management Practices (BMP’s) to help homeowners protect the lake
  • Investigated the feasibility of utilizing a whole-lake aeration system for improving water quality and reducing aquatic vegetation through reduction of sedimentary benthic carbon dioxide
  • Developed a 5-year financial budget for the local municipality and Lake Association to utilize for implementation of the suggested improvements

Magnetic Survey of Property in Mid-Michigan Revealed Presence of Landfills

As a result of environmental due-diligence conducted by Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI), a magnetic survey was performed in key areas of a mid-Michigan facility resulting in the identification of four landfills covering a total area of around one football field and to a depth of over 16 feet below the ground surface.

These historical landfills, also known as farm dumps, dated back to the early-1960’s and included household and industrial trash, scrap metal, and construction debris.  Without LEI’s effort, the purchaser would have been unaware of this material and the potential environmental ramifications of informal land-filling at that property.

Over 300 Tons of Crude Oil and Brine Impacted Soil Excavated

Thanks to modern environmental regulations and caring oil and gas producers/developers, oil and gas exploration activities are typically harmless to the environment.  Historical oil and gas production activities, however, were not so kind.

During the summer of 2012, Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) assisted a lakeshore oil producer in the voluntary remediation of over 300 tons (220 cubic yards) of crude oil and brine impacted soil present at a facility as a result of this historical legacy.  This activity will result in the ongoing protection of the drinking water and sensitive wildlife habitats in the area.

Lakeshore Environmental Hired to Assist in Blueberry Wastewater Discharge Permitting

Coming under scrutiny recently by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (LEI) was on the forefront of assisting Michigan’s blueberry growers and packers in obtaining groundwater discharge permits.

These facilities usually produce a limited volume of low strength wastewater over a short two-month packing season making permitting relatively easy with minimal sampling requirements.  The consensus among recent permittees was to get permitted before the state acted negatively upon the industry, a position LEI endorses.