LANSING — State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) said that he was pleased to learn that Trendwell Energy Corp. is no longer pursuing a permit for injection wells in Summerfield Township. Residents of Summerfield Township and the surrounding community have been fighting a proposed injection well within the township since 2014. The local concern over injection wells stems from the fragile nature of the karst regions that make up the local geology.
The United States Geological Survey has found that karst aquifers are extremely vulnerable to contamination. Fractures, fissures and conduits in karst areas allow water to move quickly through these formations, relative to other rock formations, without natural filtering. Contamination originating from one point can move to another location miles away within a matter of days and weeks.
Upon hearing there would be an EPA hearing regarding the permit last year, LaVoy decided to get involved and introduced legislation to prohibit injection wells within areas of karst geology.
“This is a huge win for the local community,” LaVoy said. “I have been working hard to help protect water quality for Monroe and Wayne counties for my entire term in office. I am very pleased with this outcome and will continue my work to ensure that drinking and irrigation water is protected.”
LaVoy was invited to attend a Summerfield Township meeting in May 2015 with other local lawmakers and concerned members of the community. Within two weeks of that meeting, LaVoy introduced House Bill 4679 to protect Michigan’s groundwater in karst areas.
“I was the first legislator to propose legislation to ban injection wells in karst areas,” LaVoy said. “That was back in May of 2015. It’s taken quite a while to get to this point, but I am proud of the effort community activists and local government officials have given — they really made the difference. These wells should not be allowed in karst areas to put public safety ahead of profit margins.”