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Understanding Groundwater and Nitrates

Posted by on 3:00 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In an effort to get media attention regarding his concern about a petroleum pipeline, a man and his grandson walked into a public meeting, without shirts, covered in what looked like oil (turns out it was chocolate cake frosting). To no surprise, this got the attention of the local media and made for some attention-grabbing photographs. Those in the regulated community understand the significant role that emotions can play with respect to environmental issues.  For agriculture, it’s multiple emotionally-charged issues including how food is...

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Two Words For You: Vapor Intrusion

Posted by on 2:38 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Vapor. Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? An ever so slight variation of the dialogue from the movie, “The Graduate.” To be more specific, it would be two words, Vapor Intrusion. Vapor Intrusion, or VI, is the watch word or phrase in the environmental assessment world right now.  Furthermore, because the “intrusion” of vapors into buildings can affect the health of the occupants, property...

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A New Administration and Four Environmental Considerations

Posted by on 5:34 pm in Blog | 0 comments

We currently have a lot of moving parts relative to how environmental issues might be shaped in the coming months and years. A new administration, a new Justice at the Supreme Court, energized environmental groups, ongoing environmental challenges and as always, emerging environmental issues. New administrations (especially when political parties change) always translate to policy changes. These changes may be amplified under the current political climate. What follows is merely my personal opinion/observations as it relates to environmental...

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10-Second Environmental Compliance Check Up

Posted by on 1:55 am in Blog | Comments Off on 10-Second Environmental Compliance Check Up

Below are Dragun’s monthly environmental compliance tips and reminders.  These very brief tips are provided in our monthly newsletters along with other environmental news.  If you are not receiving our newsletter, you can sign up on our website, or contact me ( and I will add your name to our database. If you have an immediate question about an environmental compliance issue, or would like us to address a specific environmental compliance issue in the future, contact Matthew Schroeder, P.E. (, at...

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Emerging Environmental Issue: PFOA

Posted by on 2:22 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Scott Pruitt, the nominee to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said, “PFOA needs to be addressed quickly whether under TSCA or the Safe Drinking Water Act.”  If the potential incoming director of the EPA has this issue on their radar, it deserves some attention by the regulated community. PFAS, PFOA, PFOS When you start digging into this group of emerging contaminants, you find that there are a lot of four letter “P” acronyms, and it can get confusing.  In general, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) refers to the group...

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Livestock Agriculture: Fewer Inspections & Enforcement, WOTUS, and Nutrients

Posted by on 7:22 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated on several occasions that one of their priorities is to focus on agriculture. In fact, as we wrote in late 2015, the EPA stated that one of their six 2017-2019 focus areas was going to be “Preventing Animal Waste from Contaminating Surface and Ground Water.”  Environmental Enforcement at Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) However, in a recent article in Circle of Blue, author Brett Walton writes, “Federal inspections of cattle and hog feedlots, turkey houses, and other...

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Environmental Compliance: A Look Back and Planning for 2017

Posted by on 4:17 pm in Blog | 0 comments

The fun work in our business is when we get to untangle complicated issues involving soil and groundwater contamination …  Those projects when we can roll up our sleeves and help our clients figure out Where did the contamination originate?  Who is responsible?  How do you prove it?  How do you most effectively address the issue? The more constant part of our business is environmental compliance.  Environmental compliance isn’t “sexy,” and when you stay ahead of the enforcement curve, it isn’t exciting. But as anyone who has been on the wrong...

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Commercial Property Transactions in Michigan and Environmental Obligations

Posted by on 3:37 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Recently, I attended a presentation by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) and Due Care.  Someone in attendance asked the MDEQ when due care needs to be implemented, and the MDEQ representative said “immediately.” Judging by this question, the reaction of others in the audience, and my general discussions with the business community, I believe many are unaware of these due care requirements and the need for on-going documentation of compliance. Baseline Environmental Assessment...

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2016 Environmental Compliance Posts

Posted by on 11:59 am in Blog | 0 comments

December (2015) – NPDES Stormwater Discharge Reporting What environmental report is due January 10th each year in Michigan? If you have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater discharge permit, you are required to submit your Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Annual Review Report Form to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality each year by January 10th. NOTE: The MDEQ is no longer accepting paper forms.  All submittals for NPDES are now completed through the state’s MIWaters system. View a...

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Unsettling Science, Lake Erie, TMDLs, and Agriculture

Posted by on 8:21 pm in Blog | 0 comments

In the 1960s and 1970s, there was no denying that many bodies of water in the United States were seriously impacted.  When I was going through college, the Clean Water Act (CWA) was relatively new, and there were grass-root efforts to clean up our local lakes, rivers, and streams.  The “poster child” for impacted lakes for many was Lake Erie. Even back then, algal blooms in Lake Erie were becoming increasingly problematic. What’s more, because Lake Erie was bounded by several states and a province of Canada (Ontario), it wasn’t “just” a local...

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