The Little Traverse Bay CKD Release Site is a former limestone mining and
cement manufacturing plant which was redeveloped in the mid 1990's into a
resort community near the City of Petoskey, MI. There are several cement
kiln dust (CKD) piles on the site, some of which form part of a 27-hole golf
In 1994, the developers, which include two subsidiaries of CMS Energy, received a covenant not to sue from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in exchange for undertaking certain closure activities. The primary activity specified was the creation of a collection trench system near he base of one of the piles of cement kiln dust.
In 2004, for technical reasons, CMS stopped treating water collected in the trench system. This led to a visible release of high pH leachate into Lake Michigan. The release of high pH into the lake precipitated EPA involvement at the site in August, 2004.
Investigations since EPA involvement have identified up to six active seep areas on the shores of Lake Michigan near the cement kiln dust piles. These leachate seeps contain high pH, ranging form 9-13 and contain metals, including mercury and arsenic. The leachate release can be compared to household bleach, which can burn skin.
U. S. EPA, Region 5 and MDEQ share responsibilities at the site. EPA is responsible for interim activities to address high pH releases into Lake Michigan and for site investigation. MDEQ will work with CMS to determine and apply a long-term remedy at the site.
Currently, CMS and EPA are working to install a system of collection drains in major release areas and to provide back up protection if collection drains are not effective.