MDEQ Seeks Public Comment on Polar Environmental Permit
A public hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 27 at Ferndale High School to discuss a proposed permit for the facility.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comments as the permit process for Polar Environmental Service Corp. moves forward.
Polar, which is located at 707 E. Lewiston in Ferndale, handles the disposal and recycling of nonhazardous waste oil and wastewater. The MDEQ began taking a closer look at the facility and required it to apply for a permit after a Dec. 2, 2011 steam release that concerned hundreds of area residents.
Public comment period open
Polar is seeking a permit for the proposed operation of a treatment, storage, and disposal facility for waste oils, water, and coolants that are not hazardous waste.
As part of the permit process, the MDEQ has opened a public comment period from Aug. 24 through Sept. 27 and scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 27.
"The city is excited that the public has a voice in this process," Ferndale City Manager April Lynch said in a press release. "The public comment period and hearing offers an opportunity for interested parties to share their concerns and questions before the MDEQ moves forward with the proposed conditional approval of [Polar's] Permit to Install."
Polar: Steam release was 'not a threat'
A report released by the company in February said the steam release was “not a threat to the health of the public” and should not happen again with new safeguards put in place.
The incident occurred after an employee at the facility forgot to turn off the heat in a tank that was heating oil, and the result was an odor that spread through north Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Berkley and Royal Oak.
Chris Ethridge, environmental manager with the DEQ's air quality division, said in January that testing done by the state could not address exactly what type of emissions were released because they were not on site to measure it.
Following the incident, the DEQ cited Polar and notified the company that it would need to apply for a permit. Polar had been operating under an exemption, Ethridge said, but it now needs a permit “based on the fact that they overheated some of this oil and could no longer meet criteria for that exemption.”
In addition to setting emission limits, the permit will help the DEQ ensure compliance at the facility, he said.
Public hearing to be held Sept. 27
The public hearing will be held on Sept. 27 in the Ferndale High School Auditorium. MDEQ’s staff will provide a brief introduction regarding the proposed project, respond to comments received during the public comment period and answer questions directed from the audience.
Now through Sept. 27, the public is encouraged to submit their written views to the MDEQ by letter or by web response. All statements received prior to the public hearing will be considered by the decision-maker prior to the final permit action. Written comments may be sent to:
Ms. Mary Ann Dolehanty
Permit Section Supervisor, MDEQ, AQD
P.O. Box 30260, Lansing, Michigan, 48909-7760.
All web-based responses should be directed here (click on “submit comment” under the Polar Environmental Service Corporation; Permit to Install No. 5-12 listing).