Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 3, 2013

DEQ OKs de-icing fluid runoff plan at Ford Airport

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — State officials have approved a plan to funnel airplane de-icing chemicals from Gerald R. Ford International Airport into the Thornapple River.

According to a news release issued Friday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it will allow airport officials to build an on-site treatment system directing the solution into the Thornapple River by Oct. 1, 2015.

Airport officials say the fluid is an organic agent that doesn't adversely affect water quality.

They say the $20-plus million plan would greatly reduce the amount of de-icing fluid flowing into the water to about 6,000 gallons annually and divert the airport's storm water runoff from nearby Trout Creek to the Thornapple River.

But some residents who oppose the plan question its safety and how closely the DEQ would monitor the airport's runoff.