GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Gerald R. Ford International Airport hopes to reduce the environmental risks from its winter deicing operations with a new $19 million initiative, Executive Director Brian Ryks announced today.
According to the airport’s press release, improvements will be made to the stormwater management system to reduce the the growth of fungi, algae and other aquatic organisms in the tributary that carries water to the Thornapple River.
The new initiative will redirect the water around that tributary and break down the chemical in the airport’s drainage system.
Deicing is a required by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure safe aircraft operation during the winter months. GRFIA claims that the chemical they use in this process, propylene glycol, does not linger in the environment but does increase the growth of aquatic organisms.