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DEQ Approves Drilling Permit at Word of Faith in Southfield

GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDDEQ Approves Drilling SaharaAd_03Permit at Word of Faith in Southfield

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 8, 2016)

Southfield, MI –   Today, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality granted a permit to Jordan Development Co. LLC for rights to drill on a 1.5 acre parcel of a 40-acre piece of land leased from Word of Faith International Christian Center Inc. at Evergreen and Nine Mile roads, in Southfield. They issued the following statement:

“This permit application was reviewed thoroughly to ensure all legal requirements were met and proper consideration was given due to the close proximity of surrounding houses,” said Hal Fitch, Chief of the DEQ’s Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals. “We extended our review period and reached out to the community because we wanted to look closely at this permit request. baby modern natural 01 adWe were able to share information and offer additional time for the public to provide comment, and for the DEQ to evaluate those comments as they pertained to the statutory permitting requirements. Once we reviewed all the public comments, it was determined the application met all statutory and legal requirements, and as such, the DEQ was obligated to issue the permit with conditions.”

“On February 17, the DEQ held a public meeting at the Southfield High School Auditorium to take comments before making a final decision on the permit application. Approximately 1,000 people attended the public meeting.

“Public comments we received at the meeting reinforced our decision to impose additional permit conditions specifically written into the permit to minimize environmental impacts and reduce the overall disruption to the surrounding community,” said Fitch.  The DEQ will monitor the drilling operations and ensure the oil and gas rules and regulations at this site are followed. The DEQ will closely monitor the project to ensure there are no impacts to groundwater.POWELLad_01

“This type of well typically takes between 10 and 15 days to drill.  Residents can expect to see the greatest amount of activity during that time.  This includes elevated noise and truck traffic. The permit conditions specify that:

Hospital grade mufflers must be used on drill rig engines to minimize noise.

Lights on the drill rig must be shielded to prevent unnecessary light from being directed toward residences.

Fencing must be in place during drilling to prevent unauthorized access.

“Jordan Development will not be allowed to conduct hydraulic fracturing as a part of this permit.  It is uncertain when drilling might begin, but Jordan Development is required to give a 5 day notice to the DEQ prior to preparing the drill site. The DEQ will provide updates to residents within the surrounding area when we receive the notice.”

lisa schmidt lawState Representative Jeremy Moss, who served on Southfield City Council before being elected to his current office, said ”

“I find it very troubling that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decided to issue a permit for exploratory drilling in Southfield. This action completely ignores the city’s lawful moratorium on oil and gas drilling within city limits, not to mention the strong opposition from residents who deserve a say in what happens in their own backyard. I fully support the mayor and city council’s efforts to defend and enforce the moratorium.

“We have seen adverse effects from this kind of drilling, and those effects would be multiplied in a densely populated area like Southfield. That’s why it’s crucial that the House take up House Bill 5258, legislation I sponsored that would increase the distance between residences and oil and gas wells, force drillers to comply with local regulations, and require the department to consider input from a public hearing. Michigan law guarantees cities the right to home rule, but in this instance, state government has decided it knows best, and the erosion of local control continues.”

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Note: This story was updated at 3:45pm to include the statement from Moss.


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