$500,000 Won to Redirect, Clean Park’s Storm Water

Aug 28, 2012 Issues: Environment

A $500,000 federal grant has been awarded to continue a project to reduce the impact of water pollution at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township.

The Environmental Protection announced the grant under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for the second phase of project to renovate the park’s 42-acre, 50-year-old parking lot to treat and eventually eliminate the contaminated storm water runoff into the lake and Black Creek.

“The important grant will continue a project begun last year to reduce, capture and redirect polluted storm water runoff away from Black Creek and Lake St. Clair,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Sander Levin in a prepared statement. “The Great Lakes are one of our nation’s crown jewels, and it is federal support like this that is helping to ensure that always remains the case.”

The project’s goal is to create biological treatment systems to reduce contaminants – such as automobile fluids and bird feces -- that collect in the massive parking lot and runoff with storm water into the lake and creek.

Officials say that the runoff contributes to beach closings at the park, formerly known as Metro Beach.

The first phase of the project received $1 million last year, on top of a $650,000 match by the HCMA.

The first phase includes removing 11.5 acres of pavement. Construction is expected to begin early next year, with completion by late 2013 or early 2014, HCMA officials said.

The second phase will cost a total of nearly $1.3 million, with the HCMA contributing $780,000.

The second phase involves the removal of 1.2 acres of pavement. The area will be converted to panels of grass and native vegetation to capture runoff and redirect it to the biological treatment area.

It includes the construction deep swales within the parking below the storm water system, cutting existing storm pipes and intercepting water in the swales.

Construction on the second phase could begin in late 2013, with completion in 2014 or early 2015, officials said.

The GLRI was started in 2010 to maintain and improve water quality in the Great Lakes region.

More than $1 billion has been awarded in three years. However, Levin said the House Appropriations Committee has voted to slash next year’s planned allocation of $300 million to $250 million. Levin and three other lawmakers, along with 33 other lawmakers from the region, urged the panel chairman and ranking member to restore of the funding, in a letter earlier this year.