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Background

The 880-acre site is located near Montague,Michigan. The facility manufactured chlorine, sodium hydroxide, and hydrochloric acid, and hexachlorocyclopentadiene, a toxic chemical used in fire retardant and pesticide production. The facility has been inactive since 1983 and production facilities were demolished in 1996; there are no plans to reactivate manufacturing operations.

About 506,000 cubic yards of organic wastes were disposed in unlined settling ponds over approximately 50 acres of the site. The wastes contaminated ground and surface water both on and off the site with the following chlorinated organic chemicals: chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, perchlorethylene, hexachlorobutadiene, hexachlorocyclopentadiene, octochlorocyclopentene, and hexachlorobenzene. Groundwater discharges to White Lake, and sediments in the lake were also contaminated. Remedial efforts started in 1981-1982, when most of the waste on the surface was removed and disposed in a lined landfill. Remediation also included excavation of contaminated soil, dredging of contaminated sediment, and pumping and treating contaminated groundwater.

Contaminated soil was placed on site in a lined landfill which is maintained through a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) post-closure long-term management plan. The 10-acre landfill contains approximately 970,000 tons of contaminated soil. Isolated areas of contaminated soil were removed and disposed off-site and contaminated sediment was dredged, dewatered, and disposed off-site pursuant to the 2001 RCRA corrective action final remedy.

A groundwater collection and treatment system currently operates to contain a contaminated plume to be protective of human health and the environment. The water treatment facility has been in continuous operation since 1982 and pumps approximately one million gallons per day. Treated groundwater is discharged under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to White Lake.

A contaminated 2-acre equalization pond was drained, decontaminated using pressure washing and vacuuming, re-lined with a synthetic plastic liner covered with clay, and allowed to refill with rainwater.

The remediation is protective of human health and the environment. The remedy disturbed much of the soil on more than a 100-acre area; and much of this area has been transformed into plant and wildlife habitat, through a voluntary site eco-restoration program.

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