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The state is providing grant funding to investigate a former Gratiot County coal site

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has provided a $40,000 grant to conduct an environmental investigation at a former coal site in Alma. 

The site is believed to have contamination from its former use as a coal yard, coal and auto distribution and as a storage for waste oil. 


A potential buyer previously visited the property for “phase one” of the investigation, to look at the history of the site. 

Brownfield Coordinator with EGLE, Janet Michaluk said the grant will fund a subsurface investigation. 

“They will drill into the ground and take soil and groundwater samples, send them to a laboratory for assessment where they’ll analyze those and determine whether or not there are contaminants in the ground there,” Michaluk said. 

Michaluk said the goal is to sell the property. 

“Jobs could be created as well as private investments could be invested into a property that would ultimately trickle down, come back with an increase in taxable value that would come back to the community and eventually to the state,” Michaluk said.

Michaluk said the investigation itself could take a month, depending on the results of the investigation, it may be a few more months before they could sell the property.