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Congressional District # 04


EPA ID# MID980002273
Last Updated: March, 2012

Site Description

The Clare Water Supply site covers most of downtown Clare, Michigan and includes the city's Municipal Wellfield.  Two of the four municipal wells are contaminated chronically with low levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as trichloroethene and intermittently by hydrocarbons such as benzene. The aquifer serving the municipal wells became contaminated by multiple sources that came from an adjacent industrial park. The facilities in this area, located just northwest of the wellfield, released contaminants from leaking underground storage tanks, above ground waste piles, sludge lagoons that spilled over during rains to surface water that recharged the wellfield, and from vapor degreasers that leaked through floor drains inside of one of the facilities. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed by federal, state, and potentially responsible parties. 

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater and soil are contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including vinyl chloride, trichloroethone, dichlorethene, and dichloroethane and fuel related compounds such as benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and MTBE.  Potential health threats to people include ingesting or coming into direct contact with contaminated groundwater or contaminated soils if they were to disturb the contents of a soil treatment cell.


Cleanup Progress

On September 27, 1985, a Consent Order was signed, allowing four potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to complete a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) under the oversight of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state.  The EPA prepared an Interim Action Record of Decision (ROD) in August 1990. This Interim Action ROD provided for wellhead treatment of the water supply until the RI/FS was completed and the overall site remedy was implemented. The ROD selected air stripping of the city water supply as the preferred remedy for the interim action. The air strippers were installed and began operating in March 1991 and are removing over 90 percent of the volatile contaminants from the city's water supply.

A second ROD was signed on September 16, 1992. The ROD selected a combined remedy which called for use, deed and/or access restrictions as necessary; soil vapor extraction; and groundwater extraction and treatment, using ultraviolet photochemical oxidation.  After negotiations for a Consent Decree were unsuccessful, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) on August 17, 1992.  This UAO required the PRPs to complete the design and implement the cleanup action.

In April 1995, the PRP group submitted a petition, requesting that the remedy reflected in the 1992 ROD be revised to allow for a different groundwater treatment system.  On August 4, 1995, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences which modified the treatment from  ultraviolet photo-chemical oxidation to air stripping.

The PRPs commenced Phase I of the Remedial Action (RA) in July 1996.  Thus the PRPs installed the groundwater collection and treatment system. Phase II of the RA which involves contaminated soils at the site was constructed and began operating in March 1999. The soils are being treated in a treatment cell using dual-phase vacuum extraction.

This remedy will operate until the cleanup goals and performance standards are met.

Another source of chlorinated hydrocarbons was discovered to be present in groundwater at depths greater than 35 feet very near one of the municipal wells in fall 1997. This source has been treated by in-situ ozonation and contaminant levels have decreased.  Additional hot spots have arisen in the groundwater near the same area, and the PRP has installed some additional ozone sparge wells in mid-May 2002.   Statistical analysis of this plume shows that the ozone sparging has stopped the advance of the plume and caused it to retreat somewhat. 

An enhancement was made to the remedy in 2004; a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) wall on the Mitchell facility.  The PRB intercepts contaminated groundwater moving away from the Mitchell facility.  In addition, a new municipal well was installed in September 2006. 

In January 2010, the PRPs completed the installation of production well MW-9.  MW-9 replaced the City production well MW-5 and began operation on March 9, 2010.

Success Story

Two 25 foot high air stripping towers were installed in 1990 to protect the City's water supply while the remedial investigation and subsequent remedial actions could be undertaken.  The air strippers have maintained a safe water supply since early 1991 and are continuing to treat the water supply prior to distribution.

Community Involvement

The Agency has regular meetings with the City of Clare and interested citizens.  A public meeting was held in Clare on April 25, 2005 to, among other things, announce the start of the Five Year Review at the Site.  On August 29, 2009, the EPA, MDEQ, PRP Consultants, and the City of Clare Water Treatment Plant Operator, held a public availability session with the Shamrock Square Apartments tenents who were very concerned about the Stanley Oil cleanup. 

Property Reuse

EPA has produced a Re-Use Planning Report for the Clare Site which addresses how the land area that is encumbered by access restrictions might be opened up for re-use.  The land area that is encumbered is located at 519 W. Fifth Street and is 2.86 acres.  Of this 2.86 acres, the PRPs have a soil treatment cell that takes up 0.62 acres in the middle of the parcel.  The Record of Decision called for Deed and or Access restrictions on the treatment cell itself to prevent exposure and to maintain the integrity of the remedy.  The restriction is a fence which surrounds the entire 2.86 parcel, even though the restrictions are only required on .61 acres. 

The Re-Use Planning report identified several potential redevelopment scenarios that included commercial developments on the 2.25 acres of unrestricted land and then a "Pocket Park" over the .61 acre treatment cell that would connect the two ends of the parcel via a landscaped walkway.  This would bring welcomed redevelopment and beautification of nearly 3 acres to downtown Clare.  


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nabil fayoumi (fayoumi.nabil@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6840

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


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