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Ford Airport says deicing environmental risks eliminated

8:31 PM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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AirTran Airways began service at Gerald R. Ford Int'l airport on May 4, 2010

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A large turnout is expected Thursday night as the state receives public comment on the Gerald Ford Airport's $22 million dollar plan to eliminate the environmental risks from aircraft deicing operations.

A 6:30 public hearing was planned for the Cascade Public Library.

The deicing has caused propylene glycol, an organic compound, to run into waters surrounding the airport.

Airport executive director, Brian Ryks says the airport wants to be a good neighbor and has developed a "natural treatment system that will significantly strengthen the airport's environmental performance, protect and improve water quality in the Thornapple River, and ultimately help sustain the river system's water quality."

That system is the focus of Thursday night's public forum. Citizens groups concerned about the deicing material runoff say the plan doesn't go far enough.

"I feel it falls short. I think the airport has done a wonderful job of responding to the DEQ but I don't think the DEQ has put enough pressure on the airport to connect all the dots," said Scott Rissi of the Cascade Thornapple River Association.

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