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Congressional District # 03


EPA ID# MID990858003
Last Updated: February, 2015

Site Description

The Organic Chemicals Inc. (OCI) site is situated approximately one mile southeast of the Grand River in Grandville, Michigan. The site was previously used for petroleum refining from 1941 to 1945 and for transport and storage operations from 1945 to 1966. A succession of petroleum-related industries leased the land, prior to its purchase by Spartan Chemicals in 1968. Spartan Chemical Company reclaimed solvents and conducted chemical manufacturing operations of its subsidiary, Organic Chemicals Company (Organic Chemicals Inc.).  OCI operated on the site from 1968 to 1991, and in 1979 became the owner of the site by a deed conveyance from Spartan Chemical Company. 

Residential areas are approximately 200 feet southeast of the site and 1,700 feet to the southwest. All water is supplied by the City of Grandville although some residents use well water for lawn sprinkling. The population of Grandville is approximately 17,000 people. Between 1968 and 1980, company records indicate that OCI discharged its process waste and cooling water, which included F001-F005 hazardous wastes, into the onsite seepage lagoon. In June 1980, OCI ceased discharge of wastewater to the seepage lagoon. In 1980, the company installed a wastewater pretreatment facility with discharge to the city of Grandville Sanitary Sewer system. The OCI site was finalized on the National Priorities List on September 8, 1983.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The primary contaminants at the site are associated with the past operation of the seepage pit by OCI, chemical spills at the site, and past oil-related activities. These areas are: the former seepage lagoon, the former lacquer thinner spill site, and petroleum sludge lagoons. Prior to cleanup, the total organic compounds in soil exceeded 2,747,000, 85,600, and 149,000 parts per billion (ppb), respectively, at these areas. These contaminants included elevated levels of chlorinated solvents and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) compounds. Lower concentrations of other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-VOCs were also detected. Polychlorinated biphenyls in the surface soil samples were found predominantly within the site. Concentrations in this area ranged from 43 to 74,000 ppb. Groundwater contamination also included BTEX compounds with concentrations as high as 54,000 ppb. 

Cleanup Progress

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency divided this project into two response actions. The first response action was an interim action to address contamination in the upper groundwater system by stopping the contaminant plume migration. The construction of the pump and treat system was performed by the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and placed in operation in spring 1995. It was shut down in July 1997, because the water discharged from the system was not being treated to acceptable levels. The final Record of Decision, which was signed on February 5, 1997, and amended on September 29, 2003, requires the PRPs to keep the groundwater treatment sytem on standby and to monitor to ensure that natural attenuation is remediating the groundwater to comply with Maximum Contaminant Limits for drinking water.  It also required remediation of the soil contamination to be protective in an industrial setting. 

The soil, which is the principal threat at the site, was addressed by excavation of approximately 2,500 cubic yards of the contaminated soil and disposed of offsite. Soil remediation began in summer 2001 and was completed in summer 2003. The Record of Decision allowed for an alternate point of compliance (APC) for groundwater. The APC allows the extraction and treatment system to remain shut off if certain conditions are met, while maintaining the system for future use if necessary. The PRPs are currently monitoring the groundwater for compliance with the APC. Contaminated water and sludge was removed from concrete tanks in 2006, and the tanks have been closed.  Groundwater contamination at the site has steadily declined due to natural attenuation, and this is monitored on an ongoing basis.

In spring of 2010, EPA approved an enhanced bioremediation pilot study at the site that was proposed by the PRPs.  In May 2010, an emulsified soy-lactate solution was injected into Site groundwater to stimulate natural processes that break down contaminants.  More frequent sampling occurred at that time and the results of the study showed that the concentrations of some contaminants had been reduced.  On September 23, 2014, EPA completed the fourth five-year review for the site and determined that the current remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

Property Reuse

The current site owner, who obtained the property in November 2006, has worked with the regulatory agencies and the PRPs to bring the property back into beneficial reuse.  The new owner developed the site as a truck parking center and observes the use restrictions that the site remedy requires.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
john fagiolo (fagiolo.john@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0800

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




Site Profile Information

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


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