What the Whitefish Point Stakeholders (USFWS, GLSHS, & MAS) said
about environmental contamination at Whitefish Point...

The draft Human Use / Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish Point was made available for public comment November 20, 2002. The following is from the summary of public comment:

Comment: Some commenters questions why water samples
taken from the septic monitoring wells were not being tested for
such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), lead,
mercury, or petroleum.

Response: There is no need to test for contaminants at Whitefish Point. The Coast Guard has controlled the subject property since 1852, they conducted an environmental inspection in 1990 and concluded the property does not contain any of the hazardous waste, material or substances regulated by the Toxic Substance Control Act or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Prior to transferring the property, the Coast Guard completed a Level I Environmental Survey of the entire site, in compliance with Section 120(h) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Liability and Compensation Act (CERCLA), and concluded that nothing found in the survey should pose a contaminant threat to the property.” (Page 68)

As a result of this fuel spill the Whitefish Point property has been identified as a site of environmental contamination pursuant to the Michigan Environmental Response Act 9MERA), 1982 PA 307, as amended.

- U.S. Coast 1992 Environmental Evaluation

See: 1992 U.S. Coast Guard report on diesel fuel cleanup at Whitefish Point

See Evening News Article, “Plan for Whitefish Point sparks heated discussion.”


See Bay Mills News article, “Whitefish Point Management Plan Moves Forward”.


What GLSHS attorney and current Board of Director President said
about environmental contamination at Whitefish Point...

“… that site has a long history, and very little of that long history was within our control or within the control of the Michigan Audubon Society, and historically, even the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are newcomers.

Consequently, whatever occurred up there under someone else’s watch is probably a problem that we share, in common. Consequently, it is unfair to expect or to demand or even to request one of the three parties to conduct those tests and be responsible, unless all three are going to be responsible.

And let me remind you that many of you, if not all of you, are also private property owners. Your properties have histories, too. If you are not polluting, what obligation is it on your part to find out what your predecessor did?

Consequently, we have to remind ourselves what this plan is for. It is for the monitoring of human use and natural resources. And the septic system is relevant and that’s why we are testing for capacity and groundwater contamination from septic usage.

But this plan was never intended, nor will it turn into a requirement on the part of any one of the property owners to do an environmental audit. That’s simply not required and it would be, frankly, dangerous.”


- James Spurr, From the official transcript of the “Public Hearing on the Human Use/Natural Resource Plan for Whitefish Point”, pages 39 - 40. (For a complete copy of the transcript, contact: Northern Reporters, P.O. Box 27, Marquette, MI 49855, Tel: 906-226-2706) 

GLSHS has occupied the Whitefish Point Light Station since 1983 - a mercury spill and diesel fuel spill took place on their watch.


SEE: GLSHS accepted responsibility and liability for all hazardous substances at the Whitefish Point Light Station in 1997 - see their signed statement submitted to the Bureau of Land Management prior to the transfer of the Whitefish Point Light Station to them.

U.S. Coast Guard photo of diesel fuel clean-up at Whitefish Point Light Station in 1992.


What Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality said about Whitefish Point...

“We have no warranty or guarantee as to the fitness of this site for any general or specific use, and prospective purchasers or users of this site are advised to use due diligence in acquiring or using this site”.

See Michigan Department of Environmental Quality August 19, 1997 letter.


What the stakeholders said about an Environmental Assessment for
Whitefish Point...

Comment: There were commenters who questioned why an Environmental Assessment (EA) was not prepared for the Plan.
Response: An EA is required to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act when there is a significant Federal action. Since this Plan deals primarily with activities on private land, an EA is not required. The USFWS has indicated that they will complete an EA for all activities on their property. 

-From the Human Use/Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish Point, page 70.

NOTE: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife service was a key stakeholder throughout the development
of the Human Use/Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish Point which was
the result
of a
lawsuit settlement agreement order by a Federal judge - a significant federal undertaking.

NOTE: The stakeholders at Whitefish Point hold federal land patents in trust for the public. If the stakeholders fail in their stewardship for the public, the land reverts back to the public. GLSHS is the only stakeholder who claims their federal land patent gives them private ownership. 


See what the environmental Protection agency said about Whitefish
Point about longstanding problems with mercury at Whitefish Point

See How You Can Help to save
Whitefish Point from further
See Fragile Environment of Whitefish Point and Whitefish Point Under Attack.
Home | About Us | Whitefish Point | Edmund Fitzgerald | Public Access | FAQ | How You Can Help | Terms of Use

© 2008 All rights reserved , E-mail: [email protected]