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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID006016703
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The 40-acre Kaydon Corporation site is located in Muskegon County, Michigan. The original owner of the property, White Motors Company, produced engine blocks at the facility until Kaydon acquired the site in 1941. Kaydon has since manufactured bearings, ball bearings, and various bearing assemblies at the site.

Until 1968, wastewater from plant processes, some of which contained chlorinated organic solvents, was disposed of on-site in seepage pits leading to the south branch of Ruddiman Creek. Since 1968, waste streams have been separated so that only cooling water is discharged into the creek. Ruddiman Creek flows into Muskegon Lake, which is used for recreational activities and is connected to Lake Michigan. Process wastes are removed by waste haulers, discharged to the sanitary sewer, or discharged to two on-site lined ponds. Solids settle out in the ponds and the water is then piped to the sanitary sewer. The pond sludge is periodically removed to a hazardous waste facility regulated under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Groundwater investigations began in October 1982, when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requested that Kaydon perform a hydrogeologic investigation of the area. The investigation revealed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the groundwater leaving the Kaydon property. In 1987, Kaydon submitted an initial Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for on-site groundwater (Operable Unit #1 or OU1) to the state of Michigan. Michigan approved the RAP. However, the document was later reevaluated due to the passage of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act of Michigan (NREPA) in 1994.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Kaydon site for the National Priorities List (NPL) on June 24, 1988, and finalized the site on the NPL on February 21, 1990.

After the site was placed on the NPL, the State continued to work with Kaydon to define the extent of contamination. In 1995, restructuring within the State of Michigan transferred responsibility for remedial activities from MDNR to the newly-created Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).  EPA continues to have a support role at the site.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through state and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Soil and sludges contained metals and chlorinated organic solvents such as cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and xylenes at concentrations above Michigan's promulgated soil criteria. Groundwater investigations revealed volatile organic compounds and cyanide. Soil and groundwater have been impacted by former unlined on-site process waste and wastewater seepage ponds, as well as releases from other areas of the Kaydon property.

Cleanup Progress

In June 1986, Kaydon Corporation removed 1,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil and sludge and transported them to an approved landfill. In January 1988, based upon the results of a hydrogeological study, operation of two purge wells was initiated to capture contaminated groundwater. A 1992 hydrogeological investigation revealed more extensive solvent contamination in groundwater, including 1,2-dichloroethane, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, and trichloroethylene. 

MDEQ requested that Kaydon Corporation perform a soil investigation to identify potential sources of contamination from the old seepage pits and old lagoons, which had not yet been addressed. More recent contaminant concentrations in the groundwater have declined. Thus, these investigations have been deferred.  It is not expected that additional investigations will be necessary.

Two additional source areas of contaminated soils were discovered on the site in 1997 and 1998. Both areas were investigated and remediated by removing contaminated soils and visually impacted groundwater. In 2003, soil boring samples were collected from beneath the building on-site to address potential indoor air issues. All on-site remediation was completed in 2003.

The MDEQ RAP process has been used to successfully investigate and remediate the site, since Kaydon Corporation has voluntarily complied with Michigan's requests. Cleanup criteria for on-site soils and groundwater meet the State of Michigan's standards established under NREPA.    

In order to remediate soil contamination found on the Kaydon property (OU1), Kaydon performed several interim removals between 1986 and 2000. In addition, Kaydon designed and installed a system to mitigate contaminated groundwater within and outside of the property boundary (OU2). This system has been operational since 1988. Kaydon has determined that OU2 soils have not been impacted by releases from Kaydon.

All work at the site has been voluntarily completed by Kaydon, with oversight by MDEQ. Additional institutional controls, the last unresolved issue, are currently being evaluated by Kaydon and MDEQ. These institutional controls would likely consist of restrictive covenants on individual properties. Additional Monitored Natural Attenuation monitoring is also being conducted at OU2 (offsite groundwater) by Kaydon.

Soils at the facility have been remediated to levels protective for industrial direct contact and inhalation.  Industrial use is expected to continue at the site.  Additional institutional controls are not anticipated, since the Kaydon property is currently zoned for industrial use.

The groundwater purge system is expected to remain in operation until Maximum Contaminant Levels and Michigan Part 201 Drinking Water Standards are achieved. MDEQ is requiring that Kaydon prepare an Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring Plan that will outline activities required to ensure proper system performance and contaminant plume evaluation. 

EPA signed a preliminary close-out report (PCOR) for the site in June 2006. The PCOR documents that all construction activities have been completed.

Groundwater contaminant concentrations have been declining, and State standards have been met at on-site groundwater monitoring wells. MDEQ and Kaydon are evaluating whether the groundwater extraction system should be shut down. Meanwhile, MDEQ and Kaydon Corporation are currently negotiating for a Final RAP.

Property Reuse

Soils at the facility have been remediated to levels protective for industrial direct contact and inhalation. Industrial use is expected to continue at the site. Additional institutional controls are not anticipated, since the Kaydon property is currently zoned for industrial use.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
james hahnenberg (hahnenberg.james@epa.gov)
(312) 353-4213

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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