Harbor Island Environmental Consulting

arial view of Harbor Island

Harbor Island Environmental Consulting

Uniting Historical Data With Coal Combustion Residuals and PFAS Sampling Analysis For a Safe, Healthy Harbor Island

The Grand River flows through Michigan and into the serene shoreline of Lake Michigan. A mile upstream, the river splits around Harbor Island before running past Grand Haven, a popular summertime destination. 

Harbor Island is the site of an in-depth environmental study to identify the extent of coal ash and potential per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances contamination, likely the result of the island’s past use as an industrial site. The City of Grand Haven brought us on board for environmental consulting and strategic communications to better understand the site’s constraints and options for remediation, and engage with the local community. The ultimate goal is creating a plan to mitigate the health and environmental risks on Harbor Island.

To fully understand Harbor Island’s groundwater contamination, we’re taking on multiple phases of the project. We gathered historical site data and identified data gaps to develop a conceptual site model. After we understood the site history, we prepared work plans for regulatory review by the Michigan Department of Environment; Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We began executing the work plans in fall of 2022 alongside subcontractors WSP and Western Michigan University, sampling soil and groundwater to assess the presence of CCR constituents of concern and potential PFAS contamination. Together, we'll assess results to provide the City of Grand Haven crucial information for evaluating potential remediation options.

Grand Haven’s community is passionate about Harbor Island’s future and invested in understanding the extent of contamination. In parallel with our environmental work, our strategic communications team created a communications plan to engage a community advisory group and the public transparently and clearly. By openly sharing project information during townhall meetings, educating the community on project progress and communicating timelines, the City of Grand Haven is better equipped to proactively manage public expectations. 

“Work today, protect tomorrow” is the city’s slogan for the efforts underway at Harbor Island. In the coming months, our team of engineers, hydrogeologists, statisticians and environmental scientists will connect the historical data with the results of recent samples to consider options for remediation. Together, city officials and the community hope for a remediation option that will allow Grand Haven to restore Harbor Island.

arial view of Harbor Island
City of Grand Haven, Michigan

Grand Haven, MI
United States