Skip to main content

EGLE saves dream home

Remaining buried debris shown in blue area

Danielle and Ryan Oakley were ready. The property was purchased, the contractor was selected, and their dream home at Pleasant Lake in Jackson County was almost a reality. Until their builder began preparation for the foundation and uncovered municipal waste in the form of glass bottles, metal and miscellaneous household items. With their dream turning into a nightmare the Oakley's made a providential call to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

EGLE team members in the Jackson District Office, Indumathy Jayamani, Sara Nedrich and Jerry Tiernan swung into action making multiple site visits to sample soils, conduct, with the assistance of EGLE's Geologic Support Section, a ground penetrating survey to survey to define the limits of the waste and develop a plan to address the problem. Research by Nedrich found that the property was the location of a previously unknown dump associated with a 1920s era country/vacation club. Soil samples found lead exceeding EGLE cleanup criteria allowing Jayamani to access emergency funding to remove the contaminated soils.

In the spring of 2019 EGLE, Jayamani contracted to have the trash and contaminated soils removed from the property, which was determined to have been part of the historical Bartlett Resort that operated on the shores of Pleasant Lake until the 1970s. The waste and contaminated soils were excavated and disposed of in a licensed landfill and confirmatory samples demonstrated that the lead contaminated soils were not present above EGLE's cleanup criteria.

With their home building project back on track the Oakley's to thank Jayamani, Nedrich and their team for being responsive to numerous calls and questions over the months it took to investigate, secure funding and implement the clean-up: "We will never be able to fully express to you just how thankful we are for all you've done for our family. We will now be able to build that "dream home" . . . all because of you."

Jayamani is a project manager in EGLE's Remediation and Redevelopment Division (RRD), Nedrich is RRD's Jackson District Enforcement Coordinator, and Tiernan is the RRD District Supervisor. Together, they embody RRD's "Partner — Protect — Renew" ethic. You can see more about EGLE's work at contamination sites at its website.

Take a short survey and let us know what you think about MI Environment.