DEQ: Says Problem Is What's Inside Snow Banks - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Dept. Of Environmental Quality Says Problem Is What's Inside Snow Banks

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Mid-Michigan has seen a significant amount of snow this winter, roughly 51 inches, and the piles are continuing to mount in parking lots and street corners. That's around a foot more than this time last year. Now, the State Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is sending a message for cities and counties in the area.

"We haven't seen this in a few years. We've been working a lot with local forms of government, county road associations, local road departments who are trucking this snow out and stockpiling it," said Brad Wurfel, the director of communication for DEQ.

Wurfel, with the Department of Environment Quality, said the problem isn't really all the snow, but what's packed along with it. "The road salts that get used all over the state of Michigan, sediment, garbage."

The DEQ says the location of the huge piles are thought out, as they'll be better for the environment when it melts.

"If it's in the parking lot, it's going to move out through a storm water system. It's going to move out through the sewer system like they're supposed to, that's what they are there for," said Wurfel. "There are rules for that stock piling and so the cities and the townships all know what the rules are and we work with them on how to do this right."

Wurfel said if it's dumped directly in bodies of water such as the Grand River, it's actionable under the Clean Water Act.

"Make sure that it's near storm water sewers, near retention basins is optimal because those are more naturalized areas like a pond that feeds into a river, it goes down in stages."

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