On March 16, reporter Jim Dalgliesh reported in the Herald-Palladium that trees are already being cleared for the 530-acre Harbor Shores development project, which primarily occupies land formerly owned by the City of Benton Harbor. This despite the fact that not all the necessary permits have been obtained. He quotes Mark Mitchell, president and CEO of Whirlpool's Alliance for World-Class Communities, as saying, "We have to be risk-takers to make this stuff come to fruition." Dalgliesh further reports that environmental agencies are concerned about potential damage to wetlands and waterways and contamination, particularly from the former site of the Aircraft Components factory. The US EPA reportedly spent $8 million to clean up radioactive radium from the site.
Rev. Pinkney comments: 'Only in a county where the media, the legal and law enforcement system, and the corporation (Whirlpool and it's "development" subsidiaries) work in tandem could an article like this be published. Environmentalists from all over the state have attempted to save this land - there is only a sentence or two devoted to environmental concern. And, only in a county such as this could the company paper report that the project is going ahead before the state and federal permits have come through. This land was bought for a song from Benton Harbor. Virgin beaches and forest will be destroyed for eternity.'