November 26, 2014

Saganing close to being approved for wastewater treatment plant

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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STANDISH TOWNSHIP — It may not be long now before the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe is permitted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to construct a wastewater treatment plant that would empty into the Saginaw Bay.

According to Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe Public Relations Manager Frank Cloutier, residents can comment on the plant, which is proposed to be constructed in the 2500 block of East Worth Road, until May 6. A copy of the public notice regarding the plant posted on the State of Michigan Web site says comments or objections to the proposed plant can be submitted electronically or mailed to the DEQ.

However, Cloutier says currently the plan has been received well.

“We have not heard any objections at this time,” he said, adding the water quality of the bay will not be hurt from the plant. “The affluent discharge (from the waste water) is going to be putting cleaner water in the Saginaw Bay that any water that could be drawn from it.

“So we’re putting better water back in the bay.”

Cloutier says the plant works by breaking down solid waste, putting it through a curing and filtering process, then the water is cleaned by an ultraviolet component and the byproduct and waste is removed before the water is emptied into the bay.

He says, however the specifications of the plant haven’t been hammered down at this time.

“At this point, everything is conceptual,” Cloutier said. “We don’t have a time line (to start the project) as of yet because we have a conceptual idea of this facility. There’s zoning issues that have to be addressed.

“It’s very much like what we (Tribe) have in Mt. Pleasant.”

When it comes to costs, Cloutier says hard numbers are still being worked out.

He added that only a few jobs would be created from the wastewater treatment plant, but did mention that getting the plant in place will hold bigger and better things for the Saganing Reservation.

“If this becomes reality, it gets us one step closer to expansion,” Cloutier said.

Cloutier added this plant is unrelated to the Migizi Corporation developments in Standish Township, a travel lodge and truck stop/restaurant, which will utilize City of Standish water and sewer services.

To comment on the plant electronically, visit mi.gov and go to the DEQ site. To comment via mail, send comments to Permits Section, Water Bureau, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 30273, Lansing, MI 48909.

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