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Restoring a Waterway to a Forgotten Glory: Bear Lake Restoration


Legacy oil and gas wells from the Michigan Oil Boom of the 1920s, crudely plugged and abandoned, have been leaking into the local water supply along the shoreline of Bear Lake near North Muskegon for decades. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality enlisted TRC to address the lasting environmental impacts of one problem well.


After using direct-sensing investigation methods and targeted soil and groundwater sampling to figure out the scope of oil contamination, TRC determined that its patented non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) trapping cap system was the most feasible and cost-effective way to contain the flow of crude oil from the well.


The passive collection system took just five weeks to complete. The water and shoreline have been restored and the local community is able to enjoy this natural resource once again.

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