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Project Announced to Expand Groundwater Protection Data Regionwide

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Updates to Wellhead Protection Viewer and Potential Contamination Source Inventory Coming this Fall

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Tri-County), on behalf of the East Lansing-Meridian Water and Sewer Authority (ELMWSA), is pleased to announce the kickoff of a project that will update the region’s Wellhead Protection Viewer and potential groundwater contamination source data for the region.

The Wellhead Protection Viewer, licensed and maintained by the Groundwater Management Board (GMB) and Tri-County, is an interactive online mapping application that provides a variety of data – including well locations, time of travel areas, potential contamination source locations, brownfields, and more – to municipalities so they can be better informed when making development decisions that may affect our region's groundwater resources. The application is a useful resource to protect our drinking water at its source, as planners can use its data to assist with preparing site plan reviews, emergency response plans, and risk and resilience assessments.

Supported by a grant through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the project was originally planned to cover only the East Lansing-Meridian area. Through an agreement with OHM Advisors, the project will now update the Viewer with an inventory of potential contamination sources throughout the entire tri-county region. Communities can use this data to identify the locations at greatest risk for groundwater contamination, such as gas stations, dry cleaners, and solid waste disposal facilities, and work with planners and city officials to help prevent or work toward resolving possible sources of pollution of our drinking water.

The Wellhead Protection Viewer updates are anticipated to be completed by mid-fall and will provide an advantage to both large and small communities throughout the region by improving accessibility to regional data, encouraging local leaders to make informed decisions about our drinking water resources, and supplying data that can be used to prepare for future funding opportunities that protect and improve groundwater.

Once the updates to the potential contamination source inventory and the Viewer are complete, several trainings and educational materials will be provided to local municipalities, utility providers, groundwater experts, and policy makers to demonstrate how to use the tool and data.

Additional updates on the project will be shared during upcoming GMB meetings. Questions regarding the project may be directed to Environmental Sustainability Planner Lauren Schnoebelen.


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