Chelsea didn't want it; they couldn't stop it if they tried, but Green Oak got it.  For the next ten years, visitors to Green Oak's Island Lake Recreation Area will share the sounds of nature with the sounds of heavy mining equipment.

But why worry?  The Michigan DEQ is looking out for us.

The following reports are listed in reverse date order.  The story starts at the bottom.

WHMI - 93.5 FM : New Entrance For Mining Operation At Island Lake Approved, MK, 3-17-2016

A new entrance to a mining operation at Island Lake Recreation Area has been approved by the Green Oak Township Board of Trustees. McCoig Materials is close to beginning a 10- year soil removal and reclamation operation at the state park. They had initially hoped to use an entrance owned by a local scrap company on Rushton Road as their primary access point. Township Supervisor Mark St Charles told WHMI they had change plans when an agreement couldn’t be struck. Plan B was to purchase another piece of land in the area, but it wasn’t an optimal site. They were recently able to negotiate a deal with JD Beavers Company where they will be able to use their road, which was the township’s hope in the first place. The new entrance is only a few hundred feet from the old proposed one, and shouldn’t add any additional effect to traffic or residences than the old entrance would have. St. Charles also commented on his sources have lead him to believe that McCoig is going to pave a part of north Rushton Road which, previously unbeknownst to the board, is a private road. He said they hope to contribute in creating more asphalt because of the additional truck traffic they are bringing to the area. (MK)

Chelsea Update: Rep. Gretchen Driskell provides update on gravel mine proposal in Lyndon Township, Lisa Allmendinger, January, 2015

State Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) announced over the weekend that there is a possible solution to the locally unpopular sand mine proposed by McCoig Materials in Lyndon Township.

She said McCoig may enter into a lease agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the reclamation of minerals at the Island Lake Park. A condition of that lease would be that the site north of Chelsea, currently proposed for mining, would be given to the DNR in exchange.

McCoig proposed a gravel mine adjacent to both the Waterloo State Recreation Area and the Pinckney State Recreation Area. The plan included a six days a week operation, which would generate between 60 and 80 round trips by gravel trucks a day through downtown Chelsea.

The application was originally heard by the Lyndon Township Planning Commission in March 2014. And, because of the state’s Zoning Enabling Act, local governments do not possess the power to regulate mineral rights.

Livingston Daily: Mining operation gets go-ahead, Jennifer Eberback, 12-4-2015

"Company granted permit to mine in Island Lake rec area for 10 years"

Eclecta: McCoig Materials withdraws request for permit to build intrusive, harmful gravel mine in Lyndon Township, Chris Savage, 5-29-2014

MLCV: Nature needs to win: Severe environmental impacts expected if gravel mine comes to Lyndon Township, Christine Manninen, 5-14-2014

The author of this report discusses mining's potential impact on Lyndon Township's Island Lake.

Ann Arbor Observer: A Gravel Mine in Lyndon? Gravel trucks in Chelsea? , James Leonard, April 2014

Michigan Radio: Neighbors express concerns about proposed sand and gravel mine near Chelsea, Rebecca Williams, 3-11-2014

MLCV: Lyndon Township Residents Fight Proposed Salt and Gravel Mine, 3-8-2014

On February 17 nearly 200 concerned residents packed Sylvan Township hall to argue against a proposed sand and gravel mine in their backyard. Despite strong local opposition, the Lyndon Township Planning Commission has little authority to deny the mine’s permit application thanks to a pair of state level decisions that severely weakened the ability of localities to protect their land, air, and water.


The first of these is a Michigan Supreme Court decision that established an “innocent until proven guilty” precedent for the approval of natural resource extraction operations, shifting the burden of proof for their environmental impact from the permit applicant to local government. This decision set the stage for legislation passed in 2011, stating that an ordinance “shall not prevent the extraction, by mining, of valuable natural resources from any property unless very serious consequences would result from the extraction of those natural resources.” The act defines “valuable natural resources” as resources whose extraction will provide revenue to any individual or company.


Similar mining operations have left other communities with polluted water or even made crucial wells run dry. London township (near Milan) and Richmond Township (near Holly) both experienced water contamination and wells that ran dry as a result of mining operations in the area. London Township in particular had over 2,000 wells run dry, placing significant burden on local residents.

MLive: Residents turn out in force to speak against proposed Chelsea area sand mine, Ben Freed, 2-14-2014


With the last word, it's Gilda Radner, Dan Akroyd, and Chevy Chase: