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Congressional District # 04


EPA ID# MID980794531
Last Updated: July, 2010

Site Description

The Gratiot County Golf Course site covers approximately five acres in St. Louis, Michigan. From 1956 until 1970, the Michigan Chemical Corporation (later purchased by the Velsicol Chemical Corporation) burned and disposed of industrial waste, including the pesticide DDT, on the site. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of hazardous waste were disposed of on the site. Waste seeped from the site into the Pine River, which is used for recreational activities. In 1982, Velsicol cleaned up the site under State supervision and agreed to clean up two other sites for which it was potentially responsible: the Gratiot County Landfill and the Velsicol Chemical Corp. site in St. Louis. However, the site is being reinvestigated in conjunction with an ongoing state-lead remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) at the Velsicol Chemical Corp. site. Approximately 2,500 people live within one mile of the site. About 5,500 people use groundwater for drinking water within three miles of the golf course. Six municipal water wells are located within three miles of the site. 

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions. The site currently is being re-investigated through federal and state actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater was contaminated with volatile organic compounds and heavy metals. Surface water was contaminated with benzene. Cleanup actions were completed in 1982, and it was believed that the site no longer posed a threat to public health or the environment. However, the site is now being reinvestigated as part of the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) being conducted by the State of Michigan and EPA.  The site has been proposed to be placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 2009.  The site was added to the NPL on March 4, 2010.  

Cleanup Progress

Contaminated soils were removed from the Golf Course site and disposed of at the Velsicol Chemical Corp. site in accordance with the 1982 cleanup plan. Additionally, contaminated groundwater underlying the golf course area is continuous with contamination at neighboring sites and was addressed as part of their cleanup strategy. 

The Gratiot County Golf Course site was placed on the first proposed National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982. Cleanup actions were completed by the potentially responsible party before the first, final NPL was established. In November 1982, Velsicol agreed to a combined settlement for cleanup of this site and two others in Michigan: the Gratiot County Landfill and the Velsicol Chemical Corp. plant in St. Louis, Michigan.

The cleanup actions performed in 1982 removed contaminated soils from the site. Site evaluations determined that no additional cleanup work was required, and the Gratiot County Golf Course site was deleted from the NPL (without ever being placed on the final NPL) on September 8, 1983. The site continues to be used as a recreational golf course while cleanup actions continue at the related NPL sites in the area.

The Golf Course site currently is being reinvestigated as part of the RI/FS being conducted by the State of Michigan and EPA to determine if additional cleanup actions are necessary. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) investigated the "former burn area" at the Golf Course site as part of the remedial investigation for OU1 of the Velsicol Chemical Corp. site. MDEQ released the RI Report for OU1 of the Velsicol Chemical Corp. site in late November 2006 and held a public meeting to discuss the findings in early December 2006. A copy of the report is available at the St. Louis public library. The report concluded that remedial activities would likely be necessary to address areas of soil and groundwater contamination at the "former burn area," and recommended that additional investigational activities be conducted to provide more information about the nature and extent of contamination there. MDEQ initiated additional RI field activities at the Golf Course site and issued a report on its findings in January 2009.  The site was  proposed to the NPL in September 2009 and is expected to be finalized on the NPL in early 2010.  MDEQ is currently developing a feasibility study.  A proposed plan to address the site contamination is expected in 2011. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
thomas alcamo (alcamo.thomas@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7278

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
teresa jones
(312) 886-0725




Site Profile Information

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


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