DEQ connects arsenic contamination to...

DEQ connects arsenic contamination to Allegan Co. food plant

There are 33 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Jun 3, 2008, titled DEQ connects arsenic contamination to Allegan Co. food plant. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

It started with a letter three weeks ago Tuesday. "I was pretty shocked," Randy Lozar recalled in an interview with 24 Hour News 8. He was shocked to read that the water he and his family drink is contaminated ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

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Maggie

United States

#1 Jun 3, 2008
Call Erin Brokovich
Fed Up

East Lansing, MI

#2 Jun 4, 2008
Shut it down!.....move the plant to Mexico!.........
Yup

Milwaukee, WI

#3 Jun 4, 2008
Brita water fiter. Buy one....
hollander

United States

#4 Jun 4, 2008
Sad part is that it is a big employer in the city of Fennville. They really are needed. Let's hope this can be corrected w/o lots of acrimony & forcing them to leave. About the last thing the ville needs right now. Last thing MI needs right now. I think it is a good company. Hope they do the right thing.
William Watson

United States

#5 Jun 4, 2008
A properly constructed (to code) well would not allow entry of ground water into the homes water system.
( And nobody should ever be drinking ground water in this day and age)
Improperly contructed wells basicaly punch a hole from one aquifer to the next and allow contaminates to move from the ground to deeper and once clean water sources.
The DEQ could serve us well by frequent and closer scrutiny of well drillers.

“Have a nice day!”

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#6 Jun 4, 2008
Interesting. I would like to think that BirdsEye would have found this and out of the goodness of their heart informed the neighbors of the contamination. The reality is it probably did come from them, and they were trying to coverup something before it "leaked" out. Good luck to them if that's the case. I smell a lawsuit.
Kari Craton

Syracuse, NY

#7 Jun 4, 2008
This is not a new issue, I have been receiving water since last summer,I hope now maybe Birds Eye will work to resolve these issues.
Michigan Ag First

East Lansing, MI

#8 Jun 4, 2008
Perfect example of another witch hunt by an overzelous DEQ. Hollander said it best...we need this business!
Birds Eye foods is a major processor of fruits and vegtables in West Michigan. And just incase you were wondering, Agriculture is now the number 2 industry in the state, with over 65 BILLION in value...Auto is number one at around 69-70 Billion, and toursim is around 50 Billion.
Agriculture is an important part of our state economy, and while ALL of us (remember, farmers are the orginal enviornmentalists) agree that water quality is important, this is another classic DEQ witch hunt, out to hurt another Ag business. In fact, Director Steve Chester of the DEQ has flat out said he plans to target Ag. Glad to see a member of our Governors Staff is working of undermine the only growing sector of our state's economy.
Welcome to the world of agriculture folks...the DEQ has been trying to put us out for years!!!
LAS

Muskegon, MI

#9 Jun 4, 2008
Birds Eye Foods has to have a permit to discharge its wastewater, and the permit is issued by the MDEQ. The company did its discharge as permitted and testing as required. It seems to me that the MDEQ is just as obligated, even more so, as Birds Eye Foods in resolving this issue for the local residents
ST Mason

Lansing, MI

#10 Jun 4, 2008
Cool down, MI AG First. The DEQ is not out to close a business such as this. The DEQ would rather work with the company and get compliance that to shut them down and use state $$ to clean it up. Get real. My guess is the reason the well is showing elevated arsenic and manganese is explained very well in Mr. Watson's post. The well in question was probably not placed deep enough, and the construction was poor.
ST Mason

Lansing, MI

#11 Jun 4, 2008
Sounds like Bird's Eye needs to replace a well.
Michigan Ag First

East Lansing, MI

#12 Jun 4, 2008
ST Mason wrote:
Cool down, MI AG First. The DEQ is not out to close a business such as this. The DEQ would rather work with the company and get compliance that to shut them down and use state $$ to clean it up. Get real. My guess is the reason the well is showing elevated arsenic and manganese is explained very well in Mr. Watson's post. The well in question was probably not placed deep enough, and the construction was poor.
No, they just want to close down all the farms that supply Birds Eye. Stand on my end of a DEQ audit somtime...It's very obvious that they have a severe distain for Michigan Agriculture.

But I do appricaite your comments.
molly

Chesterfield, MO

#13 Jun 4, 2008
Michigan Ag First wrote:
Perfect example of another witch hunt by an overzelous DEQ. Hollander said it best...we need this business!
Birds Eye foods is a major processor of fruits and vegtables in West Michigan. And just incase you were wondering, Agriculture is now the number 2 industry in the state, with over 65 BILLION in value...Auto is number one at around 69-70 Billion, and toursim is around 50 Billion.
Agriculture is an important part of our state economy, and while ALL of us (remember, farmers are the orginal enviornmentalists) agree that water quality is important, this is another classic DEQ witch hunt, out to hurt another Ag business. In fact, Director Steve Chester of the DEQ has flat out said he plans to target Ag. Glad to see a member of our Governors Staff is working of undermine the only growing sector of our state's economy.
Welcome to the world of agriculture folks...the DEQ has been trying to put us out for years!!!
easy for you to say, you aren't drinking the water.
molly

Chesterfield, MO

#14 Jun 4, 2008
easy for you to say, you aren't drinking the water. if that is all your home is made available, you have no choices. they need to do something now before we all get cancer and they get their pants sued.
Becky

Salt Lake City, UT

#15 Jun 4, 2008
I don't really get this...though DEQ documents show it wasn't shown to be a problem during 2007 testing.Why is it a problem now...How and why did it show up so suddenly with these higher levels..
Karen J Walters

Middleville, MI

#16 Jun 4, 2008
This is not a "new" issue on the contamination of wells in the neighboring areas of Birdseye. My sister and her husband have experienced a contaminated well for over 18 months. Their water was tested when they first purchased their home (prior to discharge from Birdseye)and it tested out fine. They have been provided with "drinking water" , but have had to use the contaminated water for showers, washing dishes, and washing their clothes.......not to mention the ruined plumbing throughout the house. This cannot be healthy!!! Just because Birdseye is a big company and provides jobs in the Fennville area should not make them "exempt" from complete responsibility. If Birdseye isn't responsible, then why have they been doing "test" wells in the area for the past several months? It's about time that this has been made a public concern, and I am greatful that the media is now reporting on this issue. The health and ruining of private properties needs to hold Birdseye accountable. Maybe the executive officers or decision makers of Birdseye would be willing to trade their homes and living conditions with the families and people that have been affected by this contaminated water!?
water
Michigan Ag First

East Lansing, MI

#17 Jun 4, 2008
molly wrote:
easy for you to say, you aren't drinking the water. if that is all your home is made available, you have no choices. they need to do something now before we all get cancer and they get their pants sued.
..."before we all get cancer"...wow, ignorance at its finest.

You can put down your copy of "Silent Spring" now.
Deeg

United States

#18 Jun 4, 2008
Why does the news never report worthhwile information. I want to know how deep his well is. I live near Fennville and I hit water at about 30ft. but you wouldn't want to use it except for outdoor use. I punched down another 200' for my house well, and with all due respect Mr Watson my water is some of the cleanest and best tasting on the planet. At least I know it's not full of trace pharmaceuticals....although the Viagra would be kind of a bonus...:-)
Reality Check

New York, NY

#19 Jun 4, 2008
Michigan AG First:

Totally Agree!!

To the rest of you, open your eyes, the DEQ is nothing more than an environmental watch dog group with it's main goal of brainwashing society into thinking it has some real purpose other than constantly undermining Michigan Agriculture and standing in the way of progress for Michigan's ONLY growing industry!

Maybe the DEQ should spend more time worrying about how wells are constructed and capping off old wells that are still open. Now that sounds like something that would protect public health!

FYI, arsenic DOES occur naturally. Is there anyone out there that can explain to me how decreased oxygen in groundwater allows a metal like arsenic to get into ground water??
ST Mason

Lansing, MI

#20 Jun 4, 2008
A reduced oyxgen situation can allow the arsenic to become mobile in groundwater. Now, as far as the DEQ being an environmental watchdog group, that's simply not the case. The DEQ doesn't make the laws, they only enforce the laws. Talk to you legislators, they're the law makers. I don't know why agriculture thinks so poorly of the DEQ. Dept. of Agriculture is the regulatory agency that oversees them.

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