Vents installed at Prince Drewry Park to alleviate methane

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published December 13, 2019


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — At press time, at least eight vents were in the midst of being installed at Prince Drewry Park, located on Quinn Road in Clinton Township, as a method to alleviate methane gas.

The vents, located near Robbie Hall Parker Elementary School and along the western border of Kentucky Street, were a response to a course of action requested by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or EGLE, due to the park being on the site of a former landfill.

Methane gas is prevalent in landfills, which are monitored by the state. Last summer, EGLE noticed an increase in gas levels, causing concern about potential drifts into residential areas. The gas has no odor.

Currently, methane levels are believed to be safe. The vents installed mirror those at landfills near Eppler Junior High School, in Utica, and in Fostoria Township, northeast of Flint.

Clinton Township Public Services Director Mary Bednar said the vents are about 15 feet deep and 15 feet high in the air. EGLE has monitored the site for years, she said, but elevated methane levels are a recent occurrence.

Methane gas does not pose a threat unless it reaches a confined space, Bednar said. EGLE provided consultants to mitigate the situation. Public services officials and engineers from Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick were also involved.

Township Attorney Jack Dolan said the township is simply proceeding in conjunction with EGLE’s request and working in cooperation. There is no evidence of migration of methane gas or any other substances that pose health hazards.

Township Supervisor Bob Cannon said neighboring properties were contacted in relation to the elevated methane levels. Local schools and homeowners were also notified and provided with monitors for precautionary measures. The restroom at the park also has a monitor that is checked daily.

“I’ve been told not only by our own engineers, but that it’s a common thing for former landfill sites,” Cannon said. “Unfortunately, it’s methane gas and produced at any other former landfill. Quite frankly, that’s why they monitor all former landfills, which is good.”

Township officials stated that they were also attempting to discover who previously owned and operated the property.