Lake St. Clair, Kevin Hertel, Peter Lucido, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Macomb County

HARRISON TOWNSHIP (WWJ) — Sometimes called the crown jewel of Macomb County, Lake St. Clair and its ongoing high pollution problem was discussed this evening at a town hall meeting in Harrison Township.

Democrat State Representative Kevin Hertel and Republican Representative Peter Lucido co-hosted the event on Monday evening. Those two and residents asked questions to members of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on how they can improve the lake’s condition.

Hertel caught up with WWJ Newsradio 950 after the meeting and offered his suggestions on how to fix this issue.

“Separate the sewer systems and build treatment plants that can handle what we are throwing at it,” Hertel said. “We know that is expensive so we need to all come together. Every level of government — the local level all the way to the federal level — to talk about these issues and figure out the best path forward because in 20 years we can not still be talking about the same issues.”

Lucido expressed similar thoughts as Hertel on how to take care of this problem. He agrees that separate sewer systems are needed to help with this issue, and took it a step further by saying if this problem isn’t fixed that someone should be “penalized.”

“We have to go ahead and tell someone to separate your storm sewers and your sanitary sewers so when it overflows it doesn’t go into our lake,” Lucido said. “If they don’t separate then they should be penalized.”

The discussion on the high pollution problem is now expected to head to Lansing. Pollution in Lake St. Clair has said to be an issue for 25 years.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality agree that this problem must be fixed and are already working on solutions. However, they wanted to make it clear that projects like this take some time.

“What’s really important to know is folks from the Michigan DEQ really want to be out here and help educate folks as well,” one Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official said. “I think that’s really critically important.”

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