DEQ public hearing for potash operations draws questions, concerns and comments

Steve Lowry, of Paris, asks a question during Monday night’s Michigan Department of Environmental Quality informational meeting about Michigan Potash Operations’ permit applications for its proposed potash operations in Evart Township. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

EVART – Questions were asked and concerns were shared.

From concerns of the potential for contamination to the water supply and area wetlands to sinkholes and liability for property owners, residents had their say about Michigan Potash Operations’ permit for eight solution mining wells and three non-hazardous, processed brine disposal wells for potash.

Submitted under Part 625, Mineral Wells, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, officials who are reviewing the company’s application hosted an informational session and official public hearing Monday night at Evart Middle School.

Located about five miles of southwest of Evart, at the northeast corner of Scofield Road and 120th Avenue in Evart Township, Michigan Potash Operations will seek to begin operations that have taken place before at the location before.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials answer questions from residents during the informational session Monday night at Evart Middle School. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

Potash, a water-soluble potassium, is used predominately as a form of agricultural fertilizer.

Michigan Potash also has asked the DEQ to withdraw up to 1,350 gallons of water per minute, to which use to mine the potash some 7,500 beneath the surface, officials noted during the informational session. Once mined, the solution will then need to be evaporated and dried to gain the potash.

Michigan Potash submitted applications to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prior to applying to the DEQ. A public hearing took place in January 2017 at Reed City High School for residents to voice their concerns and questions. In June and August of 2017, the EPA issued permits to the company.

DEQ officials explained the difference between solution mining, as well as the requirements for pressure testing on the separate steel casings used for operations.

Mostly a question-and-answer time, the informational session provided residents an opportunity to ask officials about a variety of aspects of the proposed wells, from the injection well, integrity of the steel casing used for the wells and regulations surrounding each of those.

During the public comment period, there were comments in favor and against the permit, with many residents concerns about air pollution, a limited-liability company and potential contamination.

Public comment may still be submitted to the DEQ to or mailed to MDEQ-OGMD, RE: Comments Michigan Potash Applications, P.O. Box 30256, Lansing MI, 48909.

More information about the application can be found at


Posted by Brandon Fountain

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