How a transfer of environmental risk was the catalyst needed to jumpstart the environmental clean-up, demolition, and redevelopment of DTE Energy’s historic, shuttered coal-fired power plant in Marysville, MI.


DTE (Detroit Thomas Edison) Energy’s Marysville Power Plant – also known as the “Mighty Marysville” – operated from 1922 until 2001, employing as many 250 people at its peak.  It was released for decommissioning in 2011.  The plant, which sat on a 20-acre site along the St. Clair River, generated 511 megawatts of electricity when operational.


After 80 years of operations, the once vibrant site was now a blight to the community and restricted from future use by the EPA.


This plant was also held in deep regard by the local community, once a robust source of jobs for the area. DTE Energy wanted to find a buyer that would not only remove the liability from its corporate balance sheet, but also reposition the site for its highest and best use to benefit the community.


Real Estate Purchase & Environmental Risk Assumption

Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT) purchased a historic power plant in Marysville, MI from DTE Energy in 2014. The 511 megawatt “Mighty Marysville” operated from 1922 until 2001 employing 250 people at its peak. Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT), a CDC affiliate company, agreed to indemnify DTE Energy from all future environmental concerns.


Marysville officials credit DTE with making sure it found a buyer that would have a 21st century vision for what riverfront property could be.
-- Crain's Detroit Business


Environmental Remediation and Demolition

ELT developed a plan of action, per the seller’s request, which has been approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and is currently underway with abatement, demolition, and remedial actions required to complete that plan.


On November 7th, 2015, Commercial Development Company, Inc. (CDC) – an ELT affiliate – successfully imploded “The Mighty Marysville”. The successful implosion prepares the way for the progression of CDC’s redevelopment plans, which include a hotel, retail/office, restaurants, and marina with pedestrian walkways.



Site Redevelopment

Following demolition and remediation, a mixed-use development is planned for the waterfront property. The “Marysville Riverfront Master Plan” would redevelop the former Detroit Thomas Edison (DTE) power plant site to provide the City of Marysville with a unique riverfront destination. The rich history of the site, including the opening of the DTE Power Plant in 1922, would be reflected in contextual architecture and streetscapes featuring detailing reminiscent of the 1920s. A kiosk is proposed to walk visitors through a historical time line that has shaped the St. Clair Riverfront along Marysville. Renderings of the development are below.


We expect this project to bring significant benefits to the City of Marysville and surrounding areas – economic, social, and environmental. This exciting riverfront development plan is bringing the project another step closer to transforming this brownfield site into a community asset for the City of Marysville.
-- John Fonke, VP Asset Management, Commercial Development Company, Inc.

Catalyst for Redevelopment

We have found that a brownfield site will remain in a perpetual state of decay until engaged by an outside catalyst. This case study details how ELT was able to jumpstart a shuttered and environmentally-distressed coal-fired power plant by securing a fresh infusion of capital, a legal transfer of environmental risk, a fully-funded clean-up plan, and a fresh vision for redevelopment.

Preserving the Legacy and Brand of the Seller

With over 200 environmental clean-up projects currently underway, ELT solutions have resulted in new job creation, healthier and safer communities, and hundreds of blighted sites being returned to productive use – all while preserving the legacy and brand of the seller.


ELT is currently seeking to acquire environmental liabilities and non-core assets in the following sectors:




Contact ELT
If legacy environmental issues are impacting your operations, ELT can acquire the liability (with or without real estate) and provide robust indemnification from all environmental obligations – past, present, and future.


For a confidential discussion regarding your environmental liabilities, please contact us.