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Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# MID006013049
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

Until late 1997, the Petoskey Municipal Well Field provided drinking water for the residents of Petoskey, Michigan.  The Ingalls Shore Municipal Well, one of only two wells that served the municipal water system, provided 60 to 70 percent of the city's water and was located about 200 yards northwest of the Petoskey Manufacturing Company (PMC), the suspected source of contamination of the well field.  Water from the City of Petoskey's Ingalls Municipal Well contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily trichloroethylene (TCE), from the PMC site.

A groundwater contamination plume had migrated from PMC to the well where it was drawn into the city's water supply system. The city has replaced the contaminated Ingalls Well with a new groundwater source, so Petoskey residents no longer consume drinking water that has been impacted by PMC.  PMC operated a die casting plant at this location since 1946 and a painting operation since the mid- to late 1960s.  PMC stopped operating its facility in 2001.  Disposal of spent solvents and paint sludge on the ground surface outside the PMC building contaminated soils and groundwater in the vicinity of the site.  The Ingalls Well was removed by the City of Petoskey in 2006.

Soils at the PMC facility contained high levels of VOCs, semi-VOCs, and elevated levels of metals. There are approximately 7,000 people living within a three-mile radius of the site.  The population during the summer months increases to about 11,000.  A high school, college, and hospital receive water from the municipal supply system.  Three private wells are operating about one-half mile west of the contaminated municipal well. The nearest residence is located less than 250 feet from the site. 

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater at the site contains VOCs, including TCE.

Prior to the cleanup of the PMC Facility, soils at the site contained VOCs, semi-VOCs, pesticides, and elevated levels of metals. People may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals from the site by drinking or coming into direct contact with contaminated water from the contaminated municipal well.  People could be exposed to hazardous chemicals at the Petoskey Municipal Well Field site by touching or ingesting contaminated soil at the PMC facility. 

Today, the remaining threat is from a TCE plume that extends between the former PMC facility and the former municipal well location.  Since the municipal well no longer exists and all residents in the area are served by city water, the emphasis has shifted to containing the remaining contamination and preventing any significant release to Little Traverse Bay surface water.

Cleanup Progress

In 1982, under the direction of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), PMC removed approximately 131 cubic yards of contaminated soil, backfilled the excavation, and capped it with a polymembrane liner. 

United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) entered into a state Cooperative Agreement with MDEQ in 1990 in which MDEQ agreed to perform the site investigation.  MDEQ completed the Remedial Investigation Report in February 1998. U.S. EPA completed the Feasibility Study in September 1998.

U.S. EPA examined the impact of the PMC contamination at the Ingalls Well and concluded that current VOC levels at the well were below the Maximum Contaminant Levels promulgated pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act.  However, because of the uncertainty associated with future concentrations of VOCs in the well, U.S. EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) on June 14, 1995, recommending that an air-stripper be constructed at the well to reduce existing levels of VOCs and ensure that the city's water supply is not adversely impacted by the higher levels of VOC contamination found in the ground water near the PMC facility.  Because the City of Petoskey decided to replace the Ingalls Well, the cost-equivalent of the capital cost of the remedy was provided to the City of Petoskey so that it could use the funds to enhance U.S. EPA's selected remedy.

In late 1997, the City of Petoskey completed the construction of its replacement municipal wells and use of the Ingalls well ceased.  The Ingalls well was removed in 2006.

In September 30, 1998, U.S. EPA signed another ROD for the site which addressed the remedy for both soil and groundwater actions.  One soil component involved the excavation of approximately 2,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil.  The excavated soils were transported and disposed of in an U.S. EPA approved landfill.  Another soil component was the soil vapor extraction (SVE) system for removing VOCs from subsurface soils.  Remedial designs for the SVE system and excavation activities were completed on July 23 and August 2, 1999, respectively.  On November 1999, U.S. EPA completed excavation of contaminated soil and commenced operation of the SVE system.  On January 2000, U.S. EPA conducted a prefinal inspection of the soil excavation cleanup and the SVE system.  This indicates that the remedial construction activities had been completed at the site.

The SVE system was installed in November 1999 and operated over three time periods: from November 1999 through December 1999;  May through July 2000; and October through December 2000.  The SVE system was totally discontinued and dismantled on December 27, 2000.  During the three treatment periods, approximately 753 grams of TCE was removed from the subsurface by the SVE system. 

On June 2002, a Baseline Groundwater Monitoring Sampling was conducted by MDEQ. The purpose of this sampling event was to update the groundwater data and to provide the information to assist in designing the long-term groundwater monitoring plan for the site.  The Baseline Monitoring Technical Memorandum Report was submitted by MDEQ in September 2002.  The water level data collection and monitoring well elevation survey was completed in May 2005 and provides additional data to assist in the development of the long term monitoring plan. The data collected from this event is used to determine the actual flow direction and the amount of change with time caused by fluctuations in regional groundwater, the effects of Lake Michigan and the changes in barometric pressure.

Deed restrictions have been approved by U.S. EPA and MDEQ, and have been placed on the site to limit the future use of the groundwater and to ensure the land owner's "due care" responsibilities for future development of the property.

During the City's Lakefront Park redevelopment in 2005 and 2006, several monitoring wells were damaged and were replaced by the City in 2007.   U.S. EPA has coordinated this well replacement with its video survey of existing wells and a revised long-term Ground Water Monitoring Plan for the site, finalized in July 2006.  Quarterly monitoring under the this plan continued through 2009.  One additional round of sampling was performed in 2011 as a technical evaluation, and no unexpected changes in concentrations were observed.  Concentrations continue to decrease very slowly and the plume continues to move in a more northerly direction toward the bay, and away from the former Ingalls Well.  Several wells still have TCE concentrations significantly above drinking water standards, but the data indicate that the contamination presents no significant threat to Little Traverse Bay.

EPA revised the monitoring plan in 2011, but has not been able to reach agreement with MDEQ as to whether additional remedial action is necessary.  Without an agreement, EPA is unable to fund additional groundwater monitoring or abandon unnecessary monitoring wells.  The site remains in Long-Term Remedial Action Status, and will revert to MDEQ responsibility for operation and maintenance in April 2018.


Property Reuse

The primary source of contamination, the former PMC building was torn down in July 2004.  The site has been replaced by a new condominium development, the first phase of which was sold out in 2005.  The foundation for the final phase of the development was completed in 2007, and construction was completed in 2014.

A four square block area including and surrounding the site has undergone a major public infrastructure redevelopment by the City of Petoskey.  Roads have been relocated and repaved, electric/phone/cable utilities have been placed underground, and a completely new lakefront park has been constructed and landscaped.  The Ingalls well and well house were removed in 2006.  A new bike path runs through the site which connects the Bay Harbor development to the west with downtown Petoskey to the east.  Surrounding housing has become extremely desirable for summer homes due to the convenient downtown lakefront location.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
owen thompson (thompson.owen@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4843

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
heriberto leon
(312) 886-6163




Site Profile Information

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


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