Engineers in Muskegon say they are confident no asbestos dust will reach nearby neighborhoods when they bring down one of the remaining smokestacks on the old Sappi Paper Mill site.
“It is not 100% foolproof,” says Donald Penniman of Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. “It is 99.9999%."
The stack is scheduled for demolition early Monday morning. Planners wanted to remove an asbestos glaze first but determined the stack was too unstable to support a scaffold where crews could stand.. They say they will soak the stack with water and wrap fabric and fence around the base to prevent dust from escaping.
“With intensive dust suppression activities and intensive air monitoring we have a safe program and this troublesome stack will be gone in short order,” says Penniman.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” says nearby resident Erin Medendorp. “But I'm making sure my husband and I and my children stay inside when it does come down just in case the dust does fly.”
The other remaining smokestack is structurally sound and can support a scaffold, so crews will remove the asbestos before it comes down. Engineers say both stacks will be gone by the of August.
“And this project will move forward to its completion,” says Penniman.
Investors are hoping to develop the site for residential, retail, business and recreational use..