Skip to main content

MSU's Institute of Water Research chosen for economic study of groundwater contamination management


March 3, 2021

Michigan State University’s Institute for Water Research has been chosen to conduct an economic study of the Long Run Risk management strategies for groundwater contamination under a $349,808 grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

The research team will use case studies to better understand the long-term implications, risks and costs of using institutional controls and other restrictions -- such as limiting the use of an aquifer -- when managing risks associated with groundwater that is unusable. The team will also develop a framework to guide future decisions.

Institutional controls and other restrictive covenants are used by state and local governments to manage the risk of exposure to contaminated groundwater. The controls and covenants allow for limits to be placed on using an aquifer instead of removing contamination at more than 2,000 sites across the state.

Michigan’s environmental laws do not provide guidelines or limits on the appropriate use of institutional controls and restrictive covenants, nor do the laws account for potential complications. The Long Run Risk research project is intended to help state and local decision-makers to better understand the effects of current management strategies for contaminated groundwater and inform and improve decision-making about future uses of institutional controls.

Funding for this study is provided by EGLE's Office of the Great Lakes through the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund (MGLPF).

For more information, contact Emily Finnell, Office of the Great Lakes, at or 517-599-1330.

# # #