PROCEEDINGS OF PARTNERSHIPS FOR PROGRESS WORKSHOP
DETROIT, MICHIGAN
JUNE 5, 1996

Sponsored by
Canadian Consulate General
International Joint Commission
Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Edited by
Mary Lynn Becker, Canadian Consulate General
Bruce A. Kirschner, International Joint Commission
July 1996


INDEX OF SPEAKERS


Don Wismer, Canadian Consul General

I don't think it's a surprise to anyone today that there are two factors coming together. One is voters, both citizens and business, who are telling governments at all levels that they would like governments to spend less money, and spend it more wisely which is putting stress on governments at all levels. At the same time there's a greater awareness and realization of the importance of the environment and sustainable development amongst all levels of citizens and business.

Today we are at a very important stage in that the Stage 2 of the Detroit River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is just about completed and we are ready to move on to Stage 3, which is implementation. In other words, the problems have been identified, the remedial actions have been identified and the problem in the future is how we go forward and correct those problems, which involve very large expenditures. I think the reason for the meeting today is to bring all of the stakeholders together and just have a very open discussion and look at some of the success stories around this area of which there are several with respect to outreach. We also want to involve everybody and determine how we can obtain our goals when governments will still need to retain the lead but they might not be able to put in as much money as in the past. No government is going to get out of the remediation business, but it seems there is a need for greater community involvement if we are going to truly make progress.


Mayor Dennis Archer, City of Detroit

Thank you very much. I'm delighted to be here for the Partnerships for Progress and I want to congratulate all of you for coming here. Since you want to be able to help me get back to the pristine values that we had as it relates to the water and water quality, I'm certain everybody brought their check books with them and you can just make that out to the City of Detroit.

The City of Detroit is committed to improving the quality of the water of Detroit and the Rouge Rivers. I don't think it's any secret that my administration has directed our planners of the City to return the waterfront to our citizens of Detroit. That is to say we want to make sure that we always have public access to our water, while at the same time building all around it and providing unique opportunities. I've often said that the City of Detroit has the world's best underdeveloped waterfront in America. We will begin to develop that and I would not be surprised to see it beginning to unfold in the next year or two given what has taken place recently with the purchase of the Renaissance Center by General Motors. We nevertheless want to make sure that the water that we all need and enjoy is maintained so that we have the kind of quality that we all desire.

We are a City that sits on the confluence of two major rivers in southeastern Michigan. Detroit has a unique opportunity to provide the planned citizen access. Accessibility, however, is not desirable unless the rivers can be enjoyed and utilized by reducing pollution. Over the last 25 years, Detroit has expended nearly one billion dollars toward the effort of restoring the Detroit River to the grandness which is its legacy.

The improvement to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, including the most recent addition, the $120 million dollar pump station 2A have been, in large part, responsible for the rebirth of Lake Erie. In addition, Detroit is partnered with Canada, the regulatory agencies and the public in forging the remedial actions and plans for Detroit and Rouge Rivers and has participated in the Binational Public Advisory Committee for the Detroit River RAP. Like both partnerships, resolution of common sense issues is sometimes fraught with heated debate which involves differences in approach, perspectives and leadership, but Detroit has steadfastly remained in the process and committed to the water quality of the Great Lakes Basin.

Even now when regulatory agencies have reduced their involvement in RAPs, Detroit has stepped forward and affirmatively committed to continue the process to restore the river's water quality. Detroit's commitment to the Rouge and Detroit Rivers is not limited to compliance with state and national regulations. Detroit has gone beyond regulatory confines and taken the leadership in southeastern Michigan in pollution prevention. Detroit's PCB and mercury minimization program was developed in a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation. This program has elicited the co-operation of hospitals, laboratories and dental offices to partner in developing programs to find alternatives to mercury uses. Detroit recognizes that all residents in southeastern Michigan are stakeholders in the health of the two historical rivers. With this in mind Detroit has begun a program of educating the public on how they can contribute to the health of our waterways. To that end, Detroit has created, published and provided coloring books, brochures, and games that can be shared with students, community groups and others. The Detroit PCB and mercury minimization program is being lauded nationwide as a benchmark for future pollution controls.

There is a growing consensus that all stakeholders, not just the Wastewater Treatment Plants, have a role to play in improving water quality. As we approach the more difficult and complex questions of water quality, Detroit intends to remain in the forefront of pollution prevention and abatement forging partnerships where possible and appropriate to achieve common goals.

Partnerships for Progress. Not just words, but actions as it relates to the City of Detroit. I wish I could tell you that we have all of the answers. We don't. We are always looking for new ideas, a way to improve ourselves. But, as the Consul General has mentioned, we do not have unlimited funds. We must conserve our assets and spend frugally and we must seek partnerships and assistance from those who frankly have the ability to cause us to be in a position financially to make the steps where we all want to go, and that would be to the state and federal governments. But in the meantime you can be assured that the City of Detroit will do all that it can as a good partner working with everyone to make sure that we have good quality water. I don't know about getting back to the year 1701, by the time we get to 2001, which is a couple of years ahead, I don't think I want to go back to a horse and buggy, but I will tell you we'll do all we can to see what we can do to get there in terms of water quality.


David Carter, Deputy Commissioner & Chief Operating Officer, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm not so presumptuous as to come here today and tell the people of Detroit how you should go about their RAP. Fortunately, I wasn't asked to do that, but I was asked to describe to you the experiences of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust in working with municipalities and obtaining a buy-in from municipalities and developing partnerships with municipalities and others in order to stimulate the regeneration of the Lake Ontario waterfront.

So what I would like to do is divide my presentation this morning into three parts. First I'll tell you about the origins and the functions of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. Secondly, I'll talk a little bit about the partnerships in which we have been involved which go really beyond RAPs, but do include remedial action. Thirdly, I'd like to describe to you how the waterfront regeneration trust is going to become more heavily involved in one particular RAP, that is the Metro Toronto RAP, which has not moved as far or as extensively as all those of us in our region would have hoped. That is to say, all those of us who are aware of and support the whole concept of RAPs. In telling you about these three aspects of life in Toronto hopefully there will be a few clues that you might pick up that will help to inform and stimulate your own discussion about how to move your RAPs forward here in Detroit.

Let me begin then by describing the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. The Waterfront Regeneration Trust will be four years old on the 25th of June. It was established by the Ontario Provincial Legislature in June 1992 and it was a successor organization to the Royal Commission on the future of the Toronto Waterfront. Mr. Crombie had been asked by Prime Minister Mulroney if he would be the commissioner when he retired from the Federal Cabinet in 1988. The original mandate was to ask Mr. Crombie to make recommendations on how the Federal Government could work with the people of Toronto to support the development of a waterfront of a kind and calibre, character and nature, the people of Toronto would like to have. That request came as a consequence of a good deal of jurisdictional gridlock and strife and conflict that had involved federal practice and federal jurisdiction as well as the jurisdiction of the other levels of government. Mr. Crombie became a one-man Royal Commissioner and accumulated around him a small staff and worked for a year and a quarter and submitted an interim report to the Prime Minister with a copy sent to Premier Peterson, the Premier of the day, and Mr. Peterson promptly asked Mr. Crombie if he would also then carry out a complementary mandate for the Province of Ontario. So the Royal Commission became a dual federal, provincial Royal Commission. This was the first time in Canadian history that two levels of government had come together to give a single Royal Commission a double mandate of this kind. It was quite a unique kind of an appointment. The Royal Commission submitted its report called "Regeneration."

The Royal Commission's report, like the IJC's work, like your work, was based on the ecosystem approach. We have recommended that all parties involved in the regeneration of the Lake Ontario waterfront should adopt the ecosystem approach, recognizing that it would entail the integration of ecological, economic and community considerations and also recognizing that in the case of Metropolitan Toronto there are four levels of government involved as well as a multiplicity of community and private sector organizations and, indeed, individual property owners and citizens. So the work of the Royal Commission was heavily based on the ecosystem approach and we ended with a prescription for the Toronto waterfront that recommended the application of nine principles. We suggested that the Ontario waterfront should become clean, green, connected, open, accessible, usable, diverse, affordable and attractive. Back in 1992 we weren't looking at the restructuring of government. Instead we got to that issue and we said all government should work together and work individually and work in collaboration with other partners in order to apply these principles. So the Premier of the day, Mr. Rae, from yet another political party, asked Mr. Crombie's recommendations on how to carry the work forward and Mr. Crombie said, it involves all the municipalities along the waterfront and many provincial ministries and agencies; many federal ministries and agencies and, of course, all those who have private interests on the waterfront. All of them should be aware of these principles; all of them should try to apply them when the opportunity arises. Imbedded in those recommendations, of course, and imbedded in those principles, was the whole notion of support for RAPs.

It was proposed that there should be an organization to help carry the work forward, but that organization wouldn't need any power or any authority. The bureaucrats that the Premier had sent to do the negotiations that would lead to the establishment of this new body were astounded. They said how can you hope to accomplish this work without authority. Our response was, this is the only way in which we can do it because there is already such a division of power and responsibility among the governments and agencies that further fracturing it will only make matters worse not better. So what we need is an agency that can help bring parties together. An agency that can look at the situation objectively and can try and assemble the critical mass of energy and action and purpose to get things done on the waterfront. Whether those things be environmental or economic or, as we prefer to think of them, integrated, so that both the environmental and economic considerations and the social considerations as well are taken into account. So we recommended the establishment of a small body that would essentially be a broker for the waterfront and ultimately the Premier and the legislature accepted that advice and created the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.

It was established as a small crown corporation which is a corporation at arm's length from government. Initially it was given no real form, but we established as a priority that our number one task should be to open up access along the waterfront for all the people. So we spent our first three years as a Trust working to develop a plan to bring access to the waterfront in the form of a waterfront trail. A waterfront trail that would stretch along the waterfront initially from Hamilton Bay to Trenton, and now more recently, we have moved into the Niagara region and we are coming close to the United States and we're hoping that you are going to link up with us. We're talking to New York, New York Seaway, so that we will be able to link all around the lake and to other trails internationally.

That trail now exists, it was built within three years. It is 325 kilometres long. We're extending another 60 to 100 kilometres so that one can navigate from Niagara Falls to the CN Tower. Then we are also moving eastward towards Kingston where we will be able to link up with the St. Lawrence part and hence via the St. Lawrence Seaway connect to the Quebec border. This may sound like a small simple thing, but in fact it is a wonderful project because it can be broken up into many small elements and broken up into chunks that are manageable and doable by individual municipalities, individual communities, and can also be carried out and implemented in such a way that it reflects the diversity of those communities along the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario. It can also respect private property rights. We started with a few small demonstration projects and we were able to obtain some money from the province and then obtain a buy-in from a number of municipalities.

In the first year we perhaps carried out half a dozen projects. Once other municipalities began to see what was happening there was a tremendous surge in momentum as other municipalities thought that they could join in this too and that they had components and elements and opportunities that they wanted to include in this initiative. So within three years we had expended close to $36,000,000 in construction of this trail. There's some 44 municipalities, local governments and regional governments in that area with whom we are working.

Projects on the trail include a tremendous diversity, from restoration of fish habitat, restoration of wetlands, restoration of forest cover through to building the pathway, the trail, to bridges, to celebrating the history and the culture of the various communities through which the trail passes. And so it is beginning to symbolize the importance of partnership in bringing about the restoration and the regeneration of the Lake Ontario waterfront and thereby contributing to the restoration and regeneration of the whole of the Great Lakes.

So that was one of the early projects in which the Waterfront Regeneration Trust was involved. We have to show quickly that we were not just a Royal Commission that could make good recommendations, but we had to show that the recommendations could be converted into reality. Therefore, we had to change ourselves and change our organization in order to accomplish that fact. It could have been done by others, and in part it is being done by others without any reference to the Trust. Having spent three years doing that, we then in the last year have now redefined our mission once again. We now take as our mission to bring people, ideas and money together for the regeneration of the Lake Ontario waterfront.

What do we have to offer in this regard? Well, as I mentioned, we have no power, we have no authority, we are a broker, we are a facilitator. We may be an advocate from time to time and sometimes we are a proponent or an opponent, but we take that as our mission to try and assemble the critical mass of people, investment and ideas to execute the regeneration of the Toronto waterfront. To do that completely may take five years, may take 10 years, may take 20 years. We are looking at the year 2000, we are looking at the year 2008 and we are asking ourselves what can be accomplished, who can contribute, who can be a partner, in order to carry out extensive action along this whole Lake Ontario waterfront.

So we have been involved in the whole conception of partnerships right from the beginning of the existence of the Trust. We are living in an era of immense change. All of us are affected by it everyday of the week. Like you, I wake up every morning and hope I still have a job. When I get to the office and I find it's still there, I rejoice and ask what I can accomplish for the rest of this day and the rest of this week. We are working in a provincial media, provincial environment, where there is huge change and transition going on and we recognize that the work that is going on has to continue one way or another. The Trust, we hope, will continue to be a part of that. So, as we advance from being a Federal Royal Commission, to being a joint Federal-Provincial Royal Commission and then transformed into a Provincial Crown Corporation, we are now looking at further transformation for the Trust and are turning more and more to the conception of partnership with the private sector not just relying on the power of government.

We have been working now for some two and a half years to create corporate sponsorships with organizations with deep pockets. The Mayor mentioned that the strong, strategic stroke you've just taken here in Detroit by having General Motors come back into the city center. We are thinking along those lines too. Not necessarily with General Motors, but with other big corporations with deep pockets.

Our first corporate sponsorship is with one of Canada's big banks. This is an arrangement that has not yet been announced because the bank is in the process of communicating with all its bank branch managers. This big bank has endorsed and adopted the idea of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. It sees value in the logo that you can see there and that sets the workbench that we have developed, the workbench of the greater Toronto area, and it wants to apply the concept of community development through all its bank branches. In the United States, you may sometimes be critical of your banks. It's part of the Canadian culture to heavily criticize Canadian banks while at the same time depending upon them very, very heavily. The banks in Canada have been making record profits. Only a few short years ago though they were in a losing situation. But that doesn't prevent Canadians from criticizing them now. The banks are conscious of that and they are responding in a variety of ways.

One of the ways in which this particular bank wants to respond is by showing very clearly that it is a bank that gives back to the community. So they are going to develop community plans for each one of their branches and they asked the Waterfront Regeneration Trust if we would provide advice to them on the notion of how to develop a community development plan. Fortunately for us they are taking a broad definition of the term community and are looking at education as being relevant to community development. They are looking at small business, they are looking at youth, they are looking at entrepreneurship and are willing to recognize that projects that integrate environmental, economic and social considerations, such as the kind of projects we are involved in as we work for the regeneration of the Lake Ontario waterfront, can legitimately be described as community development projects. This is a five-year development agreement with this bank. We are hopeful that the kind of principles and the ecosystem approach we have espoused will be applied through the power of the bank through all the 350 branches it has, on the Lake Ontario waterfront.

In addition to that, it has also indicated that it is willing to help the Trust look for other corporate sponsors. So by building and extending our network in this way, we are hopeful that we can attract maybe as many as half a dozen more corporate sponsorships of this kind in order that the Trust can survive whatever future they may have for us and at the same time we can continue to be a partner with municipalities and with service organizations with private sectors owners investors in the regeneration of our waterfront.

We have another similar high powered partnership that has not yet been announced. One of the ambitions that we have held for the future of the central Toronto waterfront, which is the part of our waterfront that has suffered the greatest amount of environmental abuse over the last generation, but which also holds the greatest amount of economic promise and potential for the next generation, is to remove the elevated Gardner Expressway. This is an eight kilometre long expressway that divides the city from the waterfront. It divides the financial district from the waterfront. It is a psychological barrier for many, many Torontonians because they tend to know the geography north of the elevated expressway very well, but they tend to think of the waterfront as being a foreign territory and they don't go down there. They think of it as being an area which they may only visit occasionally. So they are not using the waterfront as fully as they possibly could.

We have forged an alliance with a consortium that is now putting in place the largest single construction contract ever carried out in Canada, an over $900,000,000 contract with a consortium of road construction companies, banks, and finance companies to examine the prospect of the private sector taking down the elevated Gardner Expressway. If this feasibility study works out and the news so far looks very promising, this will be a master stroke, perhaps equivalent to bringing GM back to the Renaissance Center. It will be a master stroke for moving forward the regeneration of the waterfront in a very, very substantial way environmentally and economically. It will create a whole new series of street addresses and open up a whole new array of investment opportunities across the central waterfront. Even before that happens we can see today something in the order of 2 billion dollars as an investment on the horizon along the central Toronto waterfront.

One of the biggest barriers to releasing and capturing that full potential is a problem we have, which is similar to one of your problems, namely the decommissioning of brownfield sites. We spent a lot of our effort over the last four years trying to understand the problem of brownfield sites and trying to find the formula for dealing with them. We have worked very, very heavily indeed with the Provincial Ministry of the Environment and Energy in order to update the guidelines and make them work so that they are still environmentally responsible but are economically feasible. I'm glad to say that the Provincial Ministry of the Environment and Energy has developed a new set of guidelines which we believe will do the task and we've applied these guidelines to one of the largest brownfield sites in downtown Toronto. We find that the application of these new guidelines will substantially reduce the costs of environmental remediation and providing that the Provincial Ministry of the Environment and Energy will sign off on the remediation plan, will create certainty so that we can attract investors. We have a lot of investment interest in this site plus others, and I'm glad to say that among these investors are large American firms. So we are looking at new investment coming into the Toronto waterfront, not just from Canadians, but also from American companies and internationally as well.

Let me move finally to the question of the RAP in Toronto. I think it would be fair to say, without knowing a great deal about your situation here, that the Metro Toronto RAP is probably at about the same stage as the Detroit RAP. We are both dealing with very large, complex, multipolar, metropolitan societies. We both have deeply imbedded civic cultures. And we both have a series of complex problems that have to be resolved and it has taken a long time for each of our cities to come to an understanding of what the real problems, what the real priorities and what the real program can be.

As a participant in that process, not a leader up until now, but as a participant, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust has sometimes despaired about their RAP approach and RAP program. We have always been supporters of the IJC. We've always been supporters of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, but sometimes the seeming lack of progress evident in our own RAP in Metro Toronto has led to us feeling pessimistic. Why is that the case? When we look around and we look at other RAPs in Canada, and observe also what has been going on in the United States, we can see that other RAPs have been making progress. In our own country we look at the RAP that has already been completed in Collingwood (a small town to the north) and we look at the RAP for Hamilton and we see much more progress is being made and they are now very much involved in the implementation of the process. And we ask ourselves, why is it that Hamilton is able to make progress and Toronto hasn't made as much progress.

After a lot of thought we have concluded that in Hamilton there was a narrower range of problems and there was a much narrower geographical focus and there were many fewer interests involved. So in Hamilton the partners were able to achieve a focus more quickly. They had a smaller geographical scope to worry about and they also had a situation where they had two leading companies who both bought into the process very early on, Dofasco and Stelco, Canada's two steel making companies. When big business joins big government, a lot of good things can happen. When you add to that chemistry, deep passion and involvement of the community, then even better things can happen. So in Hamilton because of this particular mix of chemistry, big business, big government, community activists and a concerted effort, they have been able to move their RAP forward.

Let me conclude my presentation by quoting some words that were attributed to Bill Gates when he visited Toronto recently. He said, "big ideas are delicate, they can be easily killed, they should not be destroyed by those who would destroy them because they don't understand them." I would submit to you ladies and gentlemen, that your RAP, our RAP, they are big ideas and we should consider very carefully how we carry the process forward in each of our communities because the task is too big, it's too challenging to fail and even though institutions are changing, governments are changing, individuals are changing; the process, one way or another, should continue.

Don Wismer: Well, thank you very much David. I'd now like to turn the meeting over to Doug McTavish who is the Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the IJC, for the balance of the morning.


Mark Jones, Director, Southeast Office Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

On behalf of the Department of Environmental Quality and the Director, Russell Harding, good morning. As he said I'm very new to the position. I actually started on March 16, so I've been getting my feet wet a little bit. I had the pleasure of going to Mackinac Island and seeing the beauty of that island this weekend. When you are talking about environmental quality, when you're talking about preserving the beauty of our communities, it hits home. Michigan has 36,000 miles of rivers and stream. More than 11,000 inland lakes and 3,228 miles of Great Lakes shoreline.

Our department of Environmental Quality was newly formed in October of 1995 with an eye on being more responsive, more efficient, and actually a little bit more fair towards everybody. You have to create a balance. Mayor Archer kind of touched on that when he talked about we can't go back to 300 years ago when the water was unpolluted and the settlers first came and there was game everywhere. We'll never be able to go back there and we know that, so there has to be a balance between development, the environment and recreation. Our department is intent on helping create that environment. How do we get that balance? By going to the community, by listening to the Public Advisory Council, by educating the community and what they can do to help the environment, little things. For instance, right now, everybody probably knows there's a Uniroyal site on Jefferson that's been contaminated for years. What is that contamination doing to the Detroit River? Those things have to be thought about. The state of Michigan, as we speak, is trying to push forward an environmental cleanup fund for approximately $70 million dollars that would help cleanup some of that type of environmental problem.

Pollution comes from a lot of areas, landfills, urban runoff, sewage plants, and agricultural products. We need your help to make sure that there's a proper balance and that we are going in the right direction in creating clean and usable water. My job is to make sure that these things are coordinated in this part of the state. In that last 25 years, the Detroit River has become much cleaner. The Rouge River is much cleaner now after some of the effort that has gone into that river, but we have a long way to go and a lot to do. People continue to pollute. But I think through this RAP we're going to be able to see a much better environment and we're going to be able to have an environment that's going to be suitable for our children.


Jim Haveman, Project Coordinator Northwest Michigan Resource Conservation & Development Council

We are a non-profit organization that really had its grassroots in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, back in the 1960s. Most of the 320 councils today in the United States are non-profit organizations - very much a practical, can do, conservation-minded, rural development-minded organization. We believe that natural resources are there to be used, but used wisely. We often work with regional groups on managing natural resources, but keeping the economy in mind. One of our early chairmen always said that in RC&D, we don't care who gets the credit as long as the job gets done.

Actually I'm here today because of the Kellogg Foundation. We are in our second phase of funding now of training people to do partnership agreements and to understand the partnership agreement process. In fact, last week we received verbal approval for phase three funding and next week I'm concluding the last of a series of 12 workshops that we've done in the Great Lakes basin, training people to use the partnership agreement process. In addition to those 12 workshops, we've done a lot of mini sessions like this one today to just expose people to the idea or concept.

In these workshops we try to explain the partnership agreement process and how it can be used to solve regional problems. We help people learn how to work better with others and enhance their skills in working with boards and committees. They also learn how to develop a plan and to implement a partnership agreement process. Actually, partnership agreements are not new to Detroit. A year ago I was in town for a couple of meetings with the Detroit River Greenways partnership. That too is international and I really encourage you folks to think about working across the river together on things like that Greenway.

The partnership agreement process is really an innovative empowering technique that provides local voluntary solutions to complex problems. The formal definition of a partnership agreement is a concise document that unifies diverse groups around a common cause or project. The agreement also initiates a process that uses the Partnership Agreement Steering Committee to make decisions and goals and activities to the partnership, so it relies very strongly on the players, the partners, the organizations that sign on to this agreement being involved in what's going to happen.

During the break somebody asked me about this partnership agreement process and asked if they were standard. Absolutely not. Every one is different. Why? Because it relies on local people to drive the partnership agreement process. We, of course, believe that's what makes them really effective and really something that can change the future of various projects or organizations.

I can never overemphasize the importance of your common ground philosophy. That is what drives the partnership agreement process. In the Grand Traverse Bay watershed initiative, the common ground is water quality and quality of life. If you look at their brochure later on you are going to see a lot of the principles that I've talked about emphasized. On the back you see the 130 partners listed there together. You see the various logos. You see the common ground statement in there. As you look through the inside you see examples. You see recognition of the various roles that partners play. This is a good example, I think, to show what partnership agreements can do. On the other hand, this is what I would call a large partnership agreement. Most of the ones that we work with involve nine to 30 organizations, not a 130 like that one. But, again, common ground is really essential. Early on, when you are working with a diverse amount of groups, common ground is very small. But after you work with people longer, trust levels grow, people feel more comfortable with each other and work more with each other and common ground grows.

The partnership agreement process encourages people to compromise and encourages them to disagree. What I mean by that is that more and more in today's world we are recognizing that we don't have to agree on everything in order for organizations to work together. A partnership agreement process helps folks focus on the area that they can work together on, recognizing that they don't have to be friends in all aspects of life. That doesn't sound like the old way of doing business.

I think an effective partnership agreement does a lot of things. It encourages communication. Although we are supposedly living in the communication era, in reality, communication is still the problem. Many times we just do not get the opportunity to share ideas, to discuss good ideas, and to help each other see where we can work more together.

Effective partnership agreements build trust. Why? Because as people work with each other, as people learn to know each other, they start trusting each other and recognizing that they can depend on organizations to do things that otherwise maybe they would not count on. Partnership agreements really do help fundraising. In every partnership agreement I've been involved with, money has not been a problem. As people work together dealing with funding a number of things happen. Energy is created, positive energy. People like that and it draws more people to the partnership. Inefficiency and duplication are eliminated. Trust me folks, there's a lot of that in the world yet. And there's just a lot of little things that really help bring more money together. In some cases it may not be a lot more dollars, but it is used much more effectively, much more efficiently.

Partnerships require planning. They set priorities and they talk about if we want to get from here to there four years from now, what do we have to do next year? The point I'm trying to make is they engage and satisfy both the planners and the doers, and it really becomes an effective way to move it forward. Partnership agreement documents are concise. Why? Because if they were written by a lawyer nobody would agree to sign them. They are one page, two page documents that talk about the common ground. It's not legally binding. Again, lawyers get nervous when they see our partnership agreements. But they are not legal documents. They are a kind of friendly handshake type of agreement.

It enhances local leadership skills. In urban areas that is not much of a problem. You have a lot of people with good leadership skills. In rural America, in rural Michigan partnership agreements are very effective ways to bring some local people into decision making positions and train them and teach them leadership skills. It also makes the partners accountable. When people sit around a table and make decisions and commitments there's a sense of accountability. Sometimes agencies are a little hesitant to sign on to partnership agreements and the one thing I should mention is the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has been very supportive of us in providing support to use the partnership agreement process to run projects. So that agency has been comfortable with the partnership agreement concept, but some are not. But once they get used to participating and being involved with local people to make decisions even they too, I think, like the fact that locals, volunteers become accountable to do things.

What are some of the elements of a successful partnership? Both individuals and organizations participate in partnerships because they meet some of their needs and goals. Not all partners participate equally. Why? Because their stakes differ. As goals are prioritized and as you work on projects, some partners rise to the forefront to accomplish something and then as the goals change the partners change. It works out very well. You involve people where they are best equipped, where they do the best job, and again, it becomes a real practical way to maintain momentum. Partners are active in meeting goals. Why? Because they help set the goals. Partners relate openly and respectfully. Partnerships, by and large, get people to start talking about these common goals, putting aside these old agendas, or what happened five years ago and focussing on what the resource needs are. And for that reason they become very effective.

Periodic meetings with published minutes encourages participation. It keeps people involved. It keeps people tied into the partnership to the project and informed of its progress.

Clear financial reporting is essential. Many times much of the money is handled by the individual partners. Because they are doing a particular task that they are well suited for and that they have done in the past. But if the partnership has its own money, there should be clear documentation of how it is spent. There's good publicity and recognition of all partners' contribution. Many times it's some of the smaller partners that in some cases get more than their fair share of recognition. It is important in partnership agreements to have people receive recognition for what they are doing well. It also centralizes administrative responsibility in a vested facilitator.

Recently I read an editorial. The author was discussing about "old think" versus "new think." She was talking about her teenage kids at home and what they think of Mom and Dad and the old way of doing business. I believe the "old think" way is how we used to work, where it's us versus them. I think the "new think" is partnerships. Where we are in this together. Where we do have the ability of recognizing where we agree, working beyond political boundaries, where needed. And, of course, a lot of our regional issues require us to do that. But I think the "new think" is partnership agreements and I do think they have the option to take us where maybe regulations could never have gotten us. Don't get me wrong, I think we needed the regulations to clean up some of the environmental problems that we had, but I really challenge you, especially when you think about non-point source pollution, to consider partnerships. I believe that partnerships like the Grand Traverse Bay watershed initiative are the kinds of things that are going to help us "new think" ways to solutions that we have just not been able to deal with under some old models.


Mayor Michael Hurst, City of Windsor

Twenty-five years ago, the City of Windsor adopted an official flag and an official crest carrying symbolism on both which is very appropriate to what we are discussing here today. Now, the flag depicts a white bar extending from the bottom left hand corner to the top right hand corner across a blue field. The City of Windsor crest is in the upper left corner, while a rose, to designate our slogan as the City of Roses, is at the lower right. The significance of the white bar across a blue field is that it represents our city as being in the centre of the St. Lawrence Seaway System. The blue field, of course, indicates the waters of the Detroit River itself, as I said, most appropriate for this Partnerships for Progress Seminar today. I also mention the City of Windsor crest which bears the following slogan -- the river and the land sustain us.

Ladies and gentlemen, the City of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, is practically and symbolically associated with the initiatives being explored. The communities of southeast Michigan and those of Windsor and Essex County face some pretty stirring problems in dealing with the Detroit River AOC. We also face, and we should all understand this, an additional challenge. Senior governments are reducing or withdrawing their involvements considerably because of finance and pressure about high taxes. All of this adds up to what I would describe as a double constraint. The resources which might be brought to bear to cleanse the Detroit River AOC are being reduced and despite the many other measures which are being taken voluntarily or because of regulation, we're battling against time.

Many of you will remember that famous book published 34 years ago called, "Silent Spring." It was perhaps one of the first warnings about the environmental crisis which gained popular and mass media appeal. The author, Rachel Carson, referred to the limitations we face when she wrote and I quote, "Given time, time not in years, but in millennium, life adjusts and a balance has been reached, for time is the essential ingredient. But in the modern world there is no time." If that was true in 1962, how poignant it is in 1996.

The effects of an unclean environment are no secret: people can see them; people can taste them; people can smell it; they make people uneasy; and, they make people apprehensive. The task is, as this conference is being told time and again, is to harness these reactions and turn their energies into deeds and programs. It is understandable, and perhaps fortunate, that environmental issues raise such basic questions as how industrial or municipal activity can or should be controlled. There's a movement in the United States of America and in Canada, although not as great, to shift the responsibility for such matters as environmental protection back to local organizations. There are also movements to shift what have traditionally been public or government responsibilities back to the private sector. Right now, in the Province of Ontario, it's being contemplated to make various private businesses self-regulating instead of government regulated. We are seeing a whole new and different philosophy emerging, and nowhere more graphically, I would submit, than here in the Detroit River AOC. The Detroit River is our most important international asset. We all recognize that, but we do so at a time when governments at the senior level are sliding away from providing the where-with-all to protect or to assist in protecting that international asset.

Standards are being relaxed. Money that was once expected and put forward is no longer forthcoming. Nothing about the RAP for the Detroit River ecosystem is going to be easy. But perhaps we in Windsor heard an indication of how to make it more practical at a recent meeting of our provincial legislature in Toronto, Ontario. One of the people who attended declared that the real solutions to problems usually come from the local level, with some sort of voluntary cooperation from upper levels of government. I think what he was really saying was that some of the senior governments will hold your coats while you do the fighting as long as it doesn't cost them any money.

You know, we in the City of Windsor like partnerships. We especially like partnerships which bring together the public and the private sectors. Co-operation of this kind can use the skills and the resources and the strengths of everyone involved and in that way on the one hand lower the cost and on the other hand also lower the risk of not succeeding. I can give you a couple of examples I think you'll recognize. They aren't directly related to the environment but they do, in my opinion at least, prove the point. One is how the auto tunnel between our city and your city was financed and built. Way back in 1927, it was agreed that after 60 years everything on the Canadian side of the border would revert to our city and it has. This saved the original developers money by means of an arrangement which we could summarize as one to build, to operate, and then to transfer. I'm assuming you all know about our casino, and I trust many of you have had first hand knowledge about the land-based casino and the riverboat casino. Casino Windsor is also a "build, operate, and transfer" project. After 20 years the actual ownership will be turned over to the Province of Ontario by today's private owners for the sum of $1.00. By now you are asking what all this has to do with the Detroit River AOC and the RAP project, and my answer is plenty, ladies and gentlemen, plenty.

The business partnerships that I'm speaking of came into being because of the necessity to solve local problems with more wide-ranging implications. Would we really still prefer miles of cars lined up on Woodward Avenue or in Windsor's case, Ouellette Avenue, waiting to board on a cross-river ferry boat? Casino Windsor is per square foot the most profitable operation of its kind in the entire gambling world. It has created over 3,500 direct jobs and many spinoff jobs. But it wouldn't be there, it would not be there without the partnerships that created it. Now consider the quality of our Detroit River environment and let me remind you again of the slogan of our city crest, "the river and the land sustain us." Ladies and gentlemen, partnerships initiated locally and unifying us on both sides of the international border are the answer.

If the senior levels of government on our side, national and provincial, and on your side, state and federal, prefer a relaxation of standards and a withdrawal, sometimes an abrupt withdrawal of support, we must step in together. You know we in Windsor enjoy the word "together." We have been together with Detroit and southeast Michigan in so many ways and for so many causes. I would consider personally one of the most helpful, constructive and enthusiastic friends of the City of Windsor and its surrounding communities, to be his Honor Dennis Archer, Mayor of the City of Detroit. He has initiated co-operations which had not existed between Windsor and Detroit for a great many years. It would seem that our concerns, environmental or otherwise, are his and his city's concerns. And my hope is that he regards Windsor and area friends and neighbours the same way. You know, we have important and powerful, powerful allies in our partnership and we shouldn't lose sight of that, and we shouldn't forget that. One is the International Joint Commission. To me, its very existence is a lesson and I would submit a glowing example to the rest of the world. Two countries' representatives get together on vital issues, such as the environment, and agree on the lesser matters, then deal and compromise, and research until agreements are reached which are acceptable to both. On the world stage perhaps this is an impossible scenario or at least an unlikely one. To you and to us, it simply works and that's what counts.

The Great Lakes Institute at the University of Windsor is a remarkable source and a promoter of action. Its studies of the entire Great Lake ecosystem are prime examples of how painstaking investigation links the various problem areas into an identifiable challenge which can be met in a systematic way. Partnerships that work, partnerships that really, really, work don't operate on the famous "trickle down" theory. Partnerships that truly work, partnerships that really, really work defy logic and defy gravity by forcing solutions upwards. All of this requires networking and it also require leadership, and that's where the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and those of us from the Canadian side of the Detroit River come in especially.

Jointly, our plan is to make the Detroit River Basin a cleaner, healthier, more ecologically sound area, without creating unmanageable tax burdens or strangling ourselves economically by restricting our activities in unrealistic ways. I would quote one especially perceptive analysis. It was published in the United States a few years ago and this deals with groups of environmental activists and here again it's the "influencing up" theory winning out over the "trickle down" approach. The author says that each group in the environmental movement, "will make the discovery that its interests go beyond the local level, it will not be a matter of altruism or greater public consciousness, but of strategy." Well, isn't that where we stand here today. It's no secret that upper levels of government are pulling back; they are walking away. Sometimes on the tiptoes, sometimes with defiant fanfare -- from the cost of solving problems if those problems can be solved by somebody else.

The strategies, ladies and gentlemen, that we must formulate here on both sides of the Detroit River, already have their roots in our traditional co-operation, our respective love of partnerships and our considerable experience in both. We are not without resources in terms of research, in terms of resolve and in terms of determination. We know the kinds of balances which must be maintained. In fact, it's all a kind of grand international strategy that we're all talking about. Back in 1962 Rachel Carson warned that in the modern world there is no time. We are not all here today because we accept that. We're here because we think we can change it. And we can change it by promoting and by nurturing and by bringing together partnerships.

You know, SEMCOG has shown itself to be very adept at this. And you know, so has the great Mayor of the City of Detroit, Dennis Archer. And you know, so has the International Joint Commission, the Great Lakes Institute, the City of Windsor and its Canadian neighbours. No one person or agency would join a co-operative effort such as this RAP group of teams without being optimistic about the results, and I can pledge to you that the City of Windsor shares this optimism. Just as our city flag and our city crest embrace the symbolism of what we are doing here, we ourselves are constantly reminded of its importance by our slogan, which I submit could be the slogan of SEMCOG or any of its individual members. The river and the land sustain us. May we together work toward sustaining the heritage with which we have been blessed. Every good wish to all of you, and thank you once again for inviting me here today.


Brett Ryan Kaull, District Projects Director U.S. Representative Steven C. LaTourette's Office

What I'm here to talk about today is what we are doing in Ashtabula, Ohio. It happens to be my home town, but I happen to have worked in Washington, D.C. on Great Lakes issues for the last decade and during that time I've had a long and fruitful relationship with the International Joint Commission and its staff. They have come a long way towards guiding us with the RAP process and other elements of guidance and what I would like to demonstrate today also is a reflection on Jim's presentation earlier. I want to tell you at the front end, I've never met Jim Haveman before, I didn't know his work on partnerships. I did not know there was a book on partnerships. He presented a template of how to go about creating partnerships. What I learned listening to him was that in our vacuum, in our small town of Ashtabula, the criteria he listed are the ones we have chosen for ourselves, on our own. So I think it's perhaps a testimony to his approach and maybe to our approach that we implemented a partnership much like he suggested.

The Fields Brook Superfund site story is a long and somewhat frustrating one. Under the Superfund program, we have had 14 years of engagement between U.S. EPA and the Fields Brook potentially responsible parties (PRPs). And during that 14 year period, $25 U.S. million dollars have been spent. Yet we have not remediated any sediment in Fields Brook. We estimate almost $50 million dollars has been spent in litigation. Now the good part of the story is that they're about a year or so away from construction. That is moving to cleaning up the Fields Brook. However, in late 1993, U.S. EPA had determined, and correctly so I believe, that the sediments in the Ashtabula River, historical sediments, were contributed by the industries on the Fields Brook watershed. U.S. EPA was about to propose making our recreational river and the outer harbor part of the Fields Brook Superfund Project. I reference my earlier comment about 14 years and $25 million dollars to give you context of why that is something that would not be regarded as a positive thing. However, how else do you clean up a river? Where is the money to get it done? Where is the method to get it done if not Superfund? A second key issue here with Ashtabula is that this sediment was migrating causing small amounts of PCB to be delivered into our federal navigation channel. Because of that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers could no longer dredge our navigation channel and dispose of sediment in the open lake. Consequently, they were going to pursue a very traditional approach to build a confined disposal facility.

When that decision was reached and it estimated at $12 million dollars, a law was being passed that said the local governments have to cost share on these expenses. I don't know if that's tiptoeing away or going away with fanfare, but that meant our local community, very economically depressed, would have to come up with $3 million dollars. If the Corp of Engineers cannot find a local sponsor, they stop the project. Therefore, the Ashtabula River Harbor would not be dredged and we were in danger of losing our shipping industry.

The third component was Ohio EPA, through the RAP process, was determining how to remediate this area. The estimated costs were $30 to $50 million dollars. Where do you come up with that type of money?

Actually the beginning of our partnership was in November of 1993. I asked U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Val Adamkus if I could come to Chicago and talk with the Superfund Program, Corp of Engineers and other water quality people. Bruce Kirschner was there from the IJC. We put everybody in the room and said, while you are all doing your jobs, our river is not being cleaned and we are going to lose our shipping. What can we do about that? During the following two months we crafted a concept which we presented in January 1994 to the community RAP meeting. At that meeting Superfund staff had come to town to announce to the community that they had the evidence and the authority to designate our entire river and harbor as part of the Fields Brook Superfund site. At that point I presented the concept that maybe we can use a voluntary effort outside of the Superfund authority to get this accomplished in a different way. That was presented to the RAP. Our RAP was first formed in 1988. It was the springboard to the partnership. Without their work we would not have had the core group to develop the partnership. We needed a mechanism where we could help people buy in and we felt we needed a more formal organization. At that meeting the RAP voted unanimously to form the Ashtabula River Partnership. Also, Superfund representatives stood up and said that they would hold off on a Superfund designation pending evidence of progress, that a partnership was moving ahead to try to fix the problems. I believe that to be very unusual.

We moved on in August and we signed a charter amongst many of the agencies, the PRPs, and local political leaders. We wrote the bylaws. They weren't that complicated. Our charter was a page and 1/4 by the way, which followed Jim's template.

Again, common elements were found among all these projects that allowed us to piece them together. A disposal facility was required for the dredged material. There were large financial commitments involved. It would involve the co-operation of U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They were working in their individual programs but there was no cross reference that really allowed them to see a vision that went beyond their current mandate. I do not fault them for that, but the fact is is that we were not getting our resource cleaned up.

The advantages of our partnership approach was that we could have a co-ordination. We could hopefully demonstrate an economy of scale by doing one cleanup project, not three separate ones, and have a cost savings. People from the community had an intense desire to succeed with this. Our goal, as we say in our charters, is to look beyond approaches to determine a comprehensive solution to the removal and disposal of contaminated sediments which threaten the commercial, the recreational use and enjoyment of our river, the Ashtabula River.

Our mission is to find the contaminated sediments, develop a detailed plan for removal and disposal, identify the resources, and arrange the finances needed to get the plan done. We needed to generate and follow a timeline of activities to achieve the goal. Looks pretty simple. That went from one page to about a thousand pages in two months. We did that through a committee structure. Our co-ordinating committee is what Jim would call his steering committee. We have an outreach committee, a siting committee, project committee, and resource committee. What do these committees do?

The co-ordinating committee is responsible for the leadership of the partnership. We meet on a monthly basis in Ashtabula. People come from U.S. EPA, Region 5 every time. They come from Buffalo Corps of Engineers, Ohio EPA in Columbus, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to sit and to work with us once a month and in particular to report back what we've done over that month's time. Our partnership by the way is 60 members now. Almost all of those members comprise larger groups. They are not individuals. We meet on a quarterly basis. Our meetings are open to the public.

The siting committee is a very important committee right now, because we are trying to find our site. They are developing criteria for the site. They are going to recommend a site and are providing the information for the environmental impact statement necessary to construct the facility.

The project committee is chaired by a representative from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. They define the scope of the project and the methods for removing the sediments. What is the work? We're going to prepare and award contracts for dredging, remediation technologies, disposal facility design and costing out the cost share element. It's a very critical part. They have held and continue to hold public meetings and we need to examine the economic benefits. When we send this report up to Washington, D.C. the federal government has to agree that the partners in our cost-sharing are viable entities and can indeed provide the finances.

The outreach committee is one of our most exceptional committees which can inform the community through public meetings. We have a speakers bureau and media contacts. We recruit new partners and have developed a strategic plan. We are implementing it; (we publish informational materials) we do not stray from it. Nobody can say in Ashtabula county, in northeastern Ohio, that they haven't heard of the Ashtabula River Partnership. We are in the paper. We are on the television. We are out among them.

The resource committee, which I chair, is responsible for implementation of the entire project. I'm responsible for developing the cost-sharing options. What part of the pie should this diverse group of people pay for? This part has liability perhaps under Superfund. Also, the city wants to participate, as well as the federal government and the state. How are we going to package that together? We're investigating other areas for financial assistance and pursuing grant opportunities as well.

Phase 1 is what we are involved in currently. Phase 1 is to develop a comprehensive management plan. Presently, we have our river sediment sampling completed. We are doing our preliminary engineering site selection for the confined disposal facility. We have to develop a cost formula. We have to do community outreach. Let me just say that the result of the Phase 1 is that every product prior to the detail design or final blueprint for constructing the confined disposal facility is in the Phase 1 activity. You have to put together all of the financing ahead of time because this report goes up to headquarters for the Corp of Engineers to approve. They have to know it's a viable project or it will not get federal participation.

Phase 2 is again the detailed design of the disposal facility. It's a $2 million dollar effort. It is critical. It is our stepping stone between actual cleanup and where we are now. We are asking partners to leave their legal department at home and do it co-operatively. This is a very brave step and it's a very important time for us right now.

Phase 3 is construction of a confined disposal facility and removal of contaminated sediment from the river. $30 to $50 million dollars is what we think is required. The state of Ohio has had a long standing commitment of $7 million dollars. Basically, the federal government has an authority Section 312 that says if you have contaminated sediment hurting navigation interests, the Corps of Engineers will pay 50% if you come up with the other 50% to remove it. So now, we can package $14 million dollars. With that money we can ask the private sector to get away from Superfund and come over with us in order to bring in these state and federal dollars. And with the private sector making up the shortfall, we'll get the project done quicker without the enforcement hassle and it's a good thing all way around. That is our plan.

How do you put together all these divergent financial interests? How do you piece it together? As the resources chair that's my job and I'm not a financial wizard.. But, we believe that we are going to float a tax exempt environmental bond. We hope to because the PRPs hopefully will be in the voluntary mode. We hope they can come in as tax exempt status. That's a benefit to them. People criticize us and ask about the polluter pays concept? I care about the river being cleaned up. That's the bottom line. Our attitude is really to get the job done. We need some type of revenue stream to support a bond issue and we'll put that in one package and then we want the state to be our cost-sharing partner. Because when we send that agreement to Washington, and they see it's the state of Ohio, they'll say this will work fine. So my job will be to guarantee that revenue stream. Through probably 30 or 35 separate entities we are going to float a tax exempt bond, $30, maybe $40 million dollars and get it cleaned up at the front end, and make it easier for PRPs and people that want to contribute. Say I belong to a yacht club, we can contribute $5,000 a year. That revenue stream may generate $100,000 over the bond period. So that's significant. It's a real way to raise money. We're talking with experts in this field to figure out how to do it, but again I think the partnership's breaking new ground in doing it.


Peter McInerney, Director of Community Development, City of Wyandotte
& Doug Thiel, Manager of Quality and Ecology Services, BASF Corporation

We'll review the process of redeveloping an 84-acre industrial site into a community recreational area. Industrial use of the site began in the 1860s and culminated in the shutdown of various chemical manufacturing plants under the ownership of BASF Corporation in the 1980s. Subsequent investigations by BASF, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and EPA identified areas of subsurface contamination of soil and groundwater. Requirements for isolation and remediation of these areas were formalized in a consent decree between BASF and the state of Michigan in 1985. BASF commissioned a consulting firm to conduct a risk assessment study to identify appropriate uses for the site, which would be protective of human health and the environment. The results of these studies and the terms of the consent decree served as the basis for discussion with the City of Wyandotte and the state of Michigan to identify specific land uses, which would benefit the neighboring community. The partnership between corporation, city and state continued as a redevelopment plan was finalized and funding was secured. The project was constructed and was formally dedicated September 22, 1995. During the presentation we'll provide you with a general description of the site, review the site's history, talk about the risk assessment.

BASF Corporation Southworks property is an 84 acre site located directly south of downtown Wyandotte about 10 miles downriver from the City of Detroit. For over 100 years the property had been used to produce a wide variety of chemicals in other operations. The location of the site on a major commercial waterway between Detroit and Toledo led to its early development as industrial property.

Over the year a wide variety of chemicals were manufactured at the site. All operations at the site were phased out by BASF by the late 1970s early 1980s. A demolition was initiated at that time. By 1990, all structures had been razed leaving only foundations and paved areas which were then covered with a six to 12-inch layer of clay soil to grade the surface.

Shortly after the site demolitions activity started, the U.S. EPA, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), expressed concern over possible contamination at the site. Over the next few years there were several studies conducted at the site by BASF, DNR and U.S. EPA to determine the degree of contamination and the hydrogeological characteristics of the site. This activity culminated in November 1985 when BASF entered into a Consent Decree with the State of Michigan, which required remediation of three specific areas at the Southworks site.

In 1988, officials from the City of Wyandotte and BASF met to discuss potential future use of the Southworks site. The city had embarked on an extensive revitalization program and considered the site's riverfront access as a potential asset for the surrounding community. BASF had no plans for the redevelopment of the site for industrial purposes and was therefore willing to discuss other possible uses for the site. After considerable discussion it was agreed that additional analysis of the site's environmental condition was needed before appropriate uses could be identified. As a result BASF commissioned an environmental consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment study. The specific objectives of this investigation were identified as environmental and human health concerns: Identify the contaminants; characterize the contaminants; define each kind of contamination; evaluate exposure and the routes of exposure; the populations at risk; and define the land use potential.

The most important conclusion of the risk assessment study was that current conditions of the property did not adversely affect human health or the environment. In other words, corrective actions to date were effective in preventing exposure and toxic effects from the contaminants of concern. Further, with appropriate management techniques, contamination on the site would not prohibit the safe use of the property. This risk assessment identified dermal contact with contaminated soil as the primary potential exposure pathway of concern. It was concluded that most of the site could be used for a variety of purposes if the dermal exposure pathway was minimized or eliminated. This objective could be accomplished by further isolating the contamination by placement of additional soil or paving and by limiting the time individuals were on site. Major excavations into the subsurface were strongly discouraged because of the likelihood of encountering contaminated soils and exposing workers to the potential hazards of such activities. Additional constraints specified in the Consent Decree that any future use could not compromise the effectiveness of the groundwater extraction systems.

The risk assessment study was completed in January 1991. Potential uses for the property based on the city's zoning classes were summarized as shown on this map of the site. Note that the two extraction systems are designated as "Green Space" on this diagram. This was done to ensure that BASF would have continued access to the systems to perform necessary monitoring and maintenance work on the systems without interfering with other uses of the site. The two areas designated as parking, represent areas of higher concentrations of heavy metals and organics where it was most important to avoid dermal contact. As the redevelopment plans progressed the northern area did become the location of a parking lot and the southern area became the location of hills, using more than 12 feet of clean soil.

Based on the results and recommendations of the study, BASF and the City of Wyandotte began to work on a redevelopment plan for the site, concentrating upon recreational uses. One of the first steps was to identify and notify prospective stakeholders. Through 1992, several workshop sessions co-ordinated by William Johnson, a consultant to the city, were held to identify potential projects. These workshops included representatives from the City of Wyandotte, BASF, DNR, and local residents. Additional meetings were held with DNR representatives to ensure that the conceptual design for site would be consistent with the health and environmental objectives. There should be minimal potential for dermal exposure to subsurface contamination by the construction workers and ultimate users of the site.

To provide the aesthetic features desired in the redevelopment site, a new land surface would be required. It should be provided by bringing additional fill onto the site, opposite of all the dredging you're talking about. This should be provided by bringing additional fill to change the flat grade to a rolling terrain. Final plans called for approximately 600,000 cubic yards of soil to be brought onto the site which would add from two to 12 feet of surface elevation over the site. In addition, this would provide an additional barrier to the contaminated soil as the site further reducing the potential of exposure. To ensure that the fill soil brought on site was not contaminated, BASF and DNR jointly established a set of guidelines for identifying sampling, analyzing and approving candidate sources of fill to ensure their acceptability before they were brought onto the site. Irrigation and drain systems in conjunction with the grading plan for the golf course should be designed to reduce runoff to the river and minimize infiltration of surface water that might reduce the effectiveness of the groundwater extraction system.

The workshop sessions resulted in this list of ideas to potentially be included in the redevelopment project. During the latter part of 1992, a series of proposals for a recreational redevelopment plan were developed and incorporated that were consistent with the overall objectives and priorities for the site and within the recommendations identified by the risk assessment study. After much review and discussion, a final design was chosen which incorporated these features. The main thing from the environmental point of view is that the wells are inaccessible and are still fenced to this day. The balance of the site was envisioned as a park. We wanted to continue to allow people to view the river after the project was completed. So the trees and shrubs were oriented east to west so that anywhere on the site you could look across and still see the river.

Among the recreational facilities proposed as a part of the redevelopment project was a golf course. User fees for the golf course would not only allow the course to be self-supporting, it would also pay for maintenance and upkeep of the park facilities on the northern area of the site. A development firm was retained to work with the golf course architect to develop the concept further. The prime consideration was the limited space available, about 60 acres. Although this would be large enough to allow the construction of a cramped 18-hole par three course, it was decided to design a championship quality par 36, 9-hole course instead. The design feasibility and economics of such a course were deemed sufficient reason to proceed with this concept.

There were a lot of benefits to the city, particularly the waterfront revitalization and with a combination of the neighborhood revitalization, it has helped turn the city around. The State of Michigan really did come on board as a full partner and we really could not have started without them. And, of course, BASF as the property owner, was obviously essential.


Don Wismer:

I want to thank all of you for attending. I think we had the right people here and that as the Detroit River RAP moves forward we will benefit from the ideas presented today. All of our presenters did a wonderful job. Governments aren't going to disappear. The IJC is not going to disappear, nor are Canada's Department of the Environment, the U.S. EPA or state and provincial governments. They will continue to have and employ environmental experts who will be made available to the RAPs. The funding level from governments to RAPs isn't going to increase. But by bringing it all down to a local level the money required can be found locally through imaginative local leadership. I can guarantee you that we in the Consulate will remain interested and involved and try to do whatever we can to assist the Detroit River RAP as it progresses.

I guess I would just like to float an idea in terms of where especially does the Detroit River RAP go from here. It seems when we are looking at partnerships and who takes the lead, something that might be thought of is a "Detroit River Trust", where we might draw on a broad cross-section of stakeholders, try and get a corporation with a lot of credibility in terms of leadership and contacts and obviously with an interest in the environment to head a group that would run a trust which all of the stakeholders could develop as a fundraising trust. All of the various stakeholders could have projects with funding funnelled into the trust and then the money administered out to various organizations and so on that need financial help.


URL: www.ijc.org/php/publications/html/partnws.html