An area-wide assessment of historic fill along the Muskegon shoreline in Downtown Muskegon has been conducted to locate, identify, and characterize the fill materials used in the 19th and 20th centuries for the purpose of filling low areas for development. The presence of historic fill materials along waterways is ubiquitous in urban areas throughout the country, and the associated contamination often impedes redevelopment.
The City of Muskegon developed this unique approach to characterizing the location, nature, and characteristics of historic fill material on a large, area-wide basis along the Muskegon shoreline. This area has been, for several years, a target for redevelopment, in an attempt to transition the shoreline from heavy industrial use to recreational, commercial, and residential use. The goals of the fill study were to assess the potential risks to human health and the environment the fill materials pose, eliminating the need for property-by-property characterization and evaluation. A Part 201 Due Care Plan and an “Existing Contamination” section for BEAs that addresses historic fill in this area has been prepared and is available on the City’s website.
The area-wide assessment of historic fill is intended to 1) reduce uncertainties and risks with respect to environmental issues related to historic fill; 2) reduce environmental transaction costs; 3) provide time savings in transactions; and 4) provide data that can be used to evaluate protection of public health, safety, welfare, and the environment in the redevelopment of the Muskegon shoreline properties with respect to historic fill issues.