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Congressional District # 08


EPA ID# MID017188673
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The Barrels, Inc. site is a 2.3-acre former drum reclamation facility located in an industrial area in the northern section of the City of Lansing, Ingham County, Michigan. Barrels, Inc. began operations on the site in 1961 and continued until 1980, at which time the site was abandoned. The drum reclamation process consisted of cleaning the drums in a caustic solution, and rinsing, repairing, and repainting the drums for re-use. Surface soils at the loading dock and drum storage areas were contaminated by spills during this process. The loading dock area was also contaminated by spills from a storage tank which contained the cleaning solution and a variety of residual materials that remained in a majority of the drums. The State of Michigan performed groundwater sampling in 1983 and detected lead and zinc contamination in the shallow groundwater. Soils at the site were also sampled and found to be contaminated with heavy metals, volatile hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), oil, grease, and other inorganic substances. During site operations, air quality sampling revealed elevated levels for benzene and methylene chloride at the site boundary. The area is currently fenced, limiting direct contact with the potential risks at the site while remedial measures are being further evaluated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Barrels, Inc. site for the National Priorities List (NPL) in January 1987, and finalized the NPL listing in October 1989.

Approximately 9,000 people live within one mile of the site. Three schools are located within one-half mile of the site. A Lansing municipal well, which supplies water for the City of Lansing, East Lansing Township, and Delhi Township, is located in close proximity to the site. The Grand River flows within one-half mile of the site.

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through State and potentially responsible parties' actions. The Barrels, Inc. site is the subject of a State-lead CERCLA enforcement action. The primary regulation that governs remedial actions at this site is Part 201 of the State of Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1995 Public Act 451, as amended. 

Threats and Contaminants

Shallow groundwater contamination, including lead and zinc, has been detected at the site. On-site soils were contaminated with heavy metals, volatile hydrocarbons, PCBs, oil, grease, and other inorganic substances.

Cleanup Progress

The State took action in 1986 and removed 1000 drums, 1000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, and 9 underground storage tanks from the site. All contaminated materials removed from the site were transported to a federally-approved disposal facility. This removal action greatly reduced the potential for exposure to contaminants from the site while final cleanup plans were being finalized by the State.

The State of Michigan and the Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) group entered into a Consent Decree on March 1, 1993, which called for the PRP group to complete a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) and to submit a Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The Final RI Report was approved by the State in 1995. The Final FS Report was approved by the State in 1996. The State has been working with the PRP group to resolve outstanding issues with respect to the RAP which outlined additional cleanup activities needed at the site. The RAP target is a Limited Industrial (land-use-based) closure pursuant to Part 201 of the Michigan Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act.

During 2012, the PRPs implemented actions contained in the site’s Interim Response Work Plan (IRWP), including surficial soil sampling, excavation of PCB-contaminated soils, excavation of impacted soil containing concentrations of organic and/or inorganic constituents above criteria, post-excavation soil verification sampling, building demolition, limited groundwater sampling, well abandonment, re-grading and backfilling, ditch stabilization, seeding, and fencing.  In 2013, the PRPs submitted a report of the activities completed at the site. The report is currently under evaluation by MDEQ, as well as EPA's Land and Chemicals Division, to determine if any additional response actions are needed.

Property Reuse

It is anticipated that Institutional Controls (ICs) in the form of restrictive covenants will be recorded with the Ingham County Recorder of Deeds. The ICs will: 1) prohibit public access to and development of the site; 2) ensure the property is zoned for industrial purposes only; 3) restrict contact with and use of affected groundwater; and 4) run with the land and shall be binding upon any and all persons who acquire title or any legal interest in property within the site. Once recorded, these restrictions will remain in full force and effect until the MDEQ determines that the restrictions are no longer required to prevent interference with maintenance and monitoring of the remedial action and that the restrictions are no longer necessary to protect human health and the environment.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
linda kern (kern.linda@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7341

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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