Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID043681840
Last Updated: March, 2015

Site Description

The Kysor Industrial Corporation ("Kysor Industrial") Superfund site is located within Cadillac Industrial Park, which covers about a square mile along the northern border of the city of Cadillac, Wexford County, Michigan.  Kysor Industrial Corporation (Kysor), an active automotive parts manufacturing plant, began operations in 1959.  Past waste disposal practices that led to current contamination problems included the dumping of barrels of spent solvent and degreaser directly onto the ground behind the plant.  The discarded solvents contaminated the ground and groundwater beneath the site. Impacted groundwater has migrated northward to a residential area north of the industrial park in Haring Township.

Groundwater contamination from the Kysor Industrial site is commingled with that from other facilities in the industrial park, including another facility designated as a National Priorities List (NPL) site, the Northernaire Plating Company (Northernaire) site.  Contamination in the groundwater has moved downward, impacting both the shallow and intermediate aquifers in the vicinity of the site.  The nearby municipal well field for the city of Cadillac, however, draws groundwater from the deep bedrock aquifer and is not being affected by the contamination from the Kysor Industrial site.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to place the Kysor Industrial site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1985 and finalized the site on the NPL in October 1989.

Site Responsibility

The Kysor Industrial site is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.


Threats and Contaminants

Soil contaminants at the Kysor Industrial site include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethene (TCE), trichloroethanoic acid, and xylenes.  Groundwater in the shallow and intermediate aquifers at the site are also contaminated with VOCs, including the main contaminants of concern, TCE and tetrachloroethene (PCE).  These contaminants could pose a human health risk if people were to be exposed to them by drinking or coming into contact with contaminated groundwater.  Exposure to TCE and PCE can cause carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and noncarcinogenic health effects; however, no one is currently drinking or coming into contact with contaminated groundwater from the site.


Cleanup Progress

In 1981, Kysor removed 700 cubic yards of contaminated soil from behind its plant and backfilled the area.  However, state personnel overseeing the work noted strong odors and measured more than 100 parts per million of several VOCs remaining in the soil.  During the 1980s and early 1990s, the entire Cadillac Industrial Park was extensively investigated for environmental contaminants, which was mostly conducted by the state of Michigan.

EPA selected a cleanup remedy for the Kysor Industrial site in September 1989 and then it issued an order to a group of PRPs to prepare the Remedial Design for addressing site contamination.  In 1995, after the design was completed, EPA issued three enforcement orders to six industrial and individual PRPs for soil and groundwater cleanup. These orders addressed the cleanup of the entire Kysor Industrial site and the contaminated groundwater portion of the adjacent Northernaire site.

Cleanup activities included construction of an 18-well groundwater extraction system; a groundwater treatment system, including air stripping (for VOC contamination from the Kysor Industrial site) and carbon adsorption (for chromium contamination from the Northernaire site); a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system with vapor-phase carbon adsorption for contaminated soils at the Kysor plant; and removal of approximately 1,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils at another property in the industrial park.  All construction and soil removal work was completed by September 1996.

Data indicate that the groundwater treatment system treats about two million gallons of water per day and that the cleaned water is discharged to the Clam River.  The system continues to operate as designed.  Data also show that from 1996 through 2000, the SVE system removed 669 pounds of VOCs from the waste pit areas behind the Kysor plant. 

EPA completed the second five-year review (FYR) at the Kysor Industrial site in September 2005.  EPA determined that the site remedy remained protective of human health and the environment over the short term; however, EPA made several recommendations to ensure that the remedy remained protective over the long term.  The recommendations included confirming that the groundwater extraction system captured all of the contaminated groundwater emanating from the Kysor Industrial site, ensuring that all the  groundwater  cleanup levels were met, implementing land-use restrictions (institutional controls or ICs) in the part of Haring Township affected by the groundwater contaminant plume to prevent the use of contaminated groundwater for drinking, and completing a private well survey in the area.  EPA found that a 1986 Haring Township zoning ordinance requires property owners to connect to the township water system if their residences are located within 200 feet of a water distribution line; however, owners were not required to abandon their private wells.

As a follow-up to the recommendations in the 2005 FYR report, an inventory of the private wells in the North Park and Pine View subdivisions in Haring Township was completed.  The inventory consisted of reviewing a number of information sources, including water meter readings obtained from the Wexford County Department of Public Works (DPW) for about 140 residences in the subdivisions, historical file information on wells that had been abandoned since the 1980s, and well logs in the state of Michigan well database.  In addition, a door-to-door survey was conducted, written questionnaires were mailed to residents, and officials from the city of Cadillac, Haring Township, and Wexford County DPW were interviewed. The well inventory indicated that 20 homes in the subdivision might use private wells as their primary or secondary source of drinking water.  Another 50 homes appeared to still have a private well that was used for non-drinking water purposes such as watering the lawn.

EPA contacted the 20 residents that potentially used their private wells for drinking and was able to obtain signed agreements from 16 of the residents that allowed the Agency to collect and analyze a water sample from their wells. The well water samples from the 16 residents were collected in May 2008.  Analyses of the well water samples showed that only one sample contained a site-related contaminant, TCE, but at a concentration that was well below the federal Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) drinking water standard for TCE and thus did not present a health concern. 

Operation and maintenance activities were conducted at the Kysor Industrial site under the Local Development Financing Authority (LDFA) - a public/private sector partnership formed in the early 1990s to address the cleanup.  Since 2000, no VOCs have been detected in the soil vapor entering the SVE system.  After conducting a soil and groundwater sampling program, EPA and the state approved closure of the SVE system in April 2010.

In August 2010, EPA completed the third FYR for the site.  As with the previous review, EPA determined that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term.  Long-term protectiveness will be achieved when groundwater cleanup goals (MCLs) are met and ICs are maintained, monitored, and enforced. This includes strengthening the existing city of Cadillac and Haring Township groundwater-use restrictions.

The third FYR report found that the groundwater pump-and-treat system is performing as intended.  Since 1999, the groundwater system has treated over 11 billion gallons of groundwater, stripping an estimated 20,000 pounds of VOCs from the extracted groundwater.  Cleaned water discharged into the Clam River has not exceeded allowable discharge limits.

EPA is currently conducting the fourth FYR at the Kysor Industrial site and will complete the FYR report in August 2015.

Property Reuse

An automotive part manufacturing facility is currently operating at the Kysor Industrial site.  The majority of facilities in the Cadillac Industrial Park are still operating and future use of these properties is predicted to be industrial.  Certain areas of the industrial park, such as along Leeson Avenue, contain commercial establishments.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
sheila sullivan (sullivan.sheila@epa.gov)
(312) 886-5251

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.


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.