Lake Mitchell Property Owner Inc. Membership
May 24, 2022
Environment Great Lakes and Energy, loses faith in the Lake Mitchell Sewer Authority and issues an Administrative Consent Order.
In the April Lake Mitchell Sewer Authority (LMSA) meeting, there was a casual mention of an ACO without any explanation. We wondered what that acronym stood for so we used the Freedom of Information Act to find out. To our surprise, we received a 20-plus page document from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Enforcement Unit, Water Resources Division. The document is a draft copy of an Administrative Consent Order ACO) created by Donald Brady, EGLE stating LMSA is in violation of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protections Act.
The proposed ACO is an agreement between EGLE and the LMSA to resolve the violations. The ACO provides for an unspecified amount of dollars for both the cost of investigation and enforcement activities and a civil fine. The ACO also includes a Compliance Program for the LMSA to follow. The State of Michigan also requires a construction and start up schedule, as well as an Asset Management Plan (AMP) be submitted no later than Dec. 31, 2022. The ACO effectively means the State will have oversite in the schedule and process to upgrade the system as well as approval of the management plan for the system. Included in the document is the possibility of large financial increases and fines.
In the May LMSA meeting, Sheila Hill invited the creator of the document, Donald Brady EGLE to the meeting to explain the reason for the document at this time while we are waiting for the bond approval. He gave an explanation that was hard to understand, but the bottom line is he and the LMSA operations manager, Sheila Hill believe the ACO is helpful. The board did not comment.
Our opinion is that either the State of Michigan / EGLE doesn’t believe the current board and the operating company can manage the system safely and get the upgrade done in a timely fashion and or that EGLE felt the need to create the document to show they’re on top of this system that’s polluting the state natural resources. On top of a very costly sewer system and substantial cost to upgrade, we as sewer users will now be faced with additional expenses.
We have decided to put the whole document on our Facebook page and our Website and let you decide.
Donald Brady also noted that the State of Michigan does not support this document’s availability under the Freedom of Information Act and was very guarded in the comments he made at the LMSA Board Meeting.
Lake Mitchell Property Owners
Dave Stinger, President