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Congressional District # 13


EPA ID# MID985574227
Last Updated: March, 2012

Site Description

The Lower Ecorse Creek site, originally called the North Drive site, is located in a residential area in Wyandotte, Michigan, on the south bank of the Ecorse River.  The site is a former wetland that was filled in with waste material for development purposes.  A city park is located on  a portion of the site.  In 1989, an area resident reported to the Wayne County Health Department that an excavation for a new driveway had exposed blue-stained soils. The Health Department analysis found high concentrations of cyanide in the soils and tentatively identified the blue material as ferric ferrocyanide (Prussian blue).  The blue material also was seeping into the basement of the home and was found in several nearby lots adjacent to the site. 

The site was listed in the National Priorities List (NPL) on May 31, 1994.  It was deleted from the NPL on July 1, 2005.

Site Responsibility

The Lower Ecorse Creek site was addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Soil at the Lower Ecorse Creek site was contaminated with cyanide, arsenic, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Potential health effects could occur due to dermal contact with the soil contaminants.

Groundwater is contaminated with similar compounds and potential health effects could occur if the water was used as a drinking water supply.  However, there is little chance for people to ingest the groundwater contaminants, as the aquifer is not otherwise usable for drinking in the area and all homes are connected to the municipal water supply.

Cleanup Progress

Current status

EPA completed the Lower Ecorse Creek site cleanup actions in 2003 and later deleted the site from the NPL in July, 2005.  However, EPA still conducts five-year reviews (5YR) at the site because hazardous substances remain covered at a portion of the site (the city park).  The Agency conducted the latest 5YR in 2011 and evaluated the efficacy of the required institutional controls (ICs) for the site as well as the monitoring and maintenance work that the city of Wyandotte performs on the soil cover in the park.  (Institutional controls are legal or administrative controls that are attached to properties to prevent interference with constructed cleanup remedies or to prevent use of residually contaminated media such as groundwater.)  EPA requires the city to protect the integrity of the soil cover and to control the use of the park area to prevent potential exposure to buried contaminants.  The city has complied with the requirements to implement deed restrictions and maintain the soil cover in the park.


EPA began a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) in March 1994 for the four-block area surrounding the lots addressed in the removal action.  EPA completed the RI/FS in July 1996 and selected a long term cleanup action for the site, documenting the selection in a Record of Decision (ROD).  The selected cleanup action included excavation and offsite disposal of approximately 300 cubic yards of soil contaminated with cyanide, arsenic and PAHs and found on about 16 residential lots, including areas of contamination remaining on the lots addressed in the emergency cleanup actions.

EPA initiated a fund-financed Remedial Design and Remedial Action because two potentially responsible parties refused to comply with a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) the Agency issued in September 1996 to complete the required work under federal oversight.  EPA completed the Remedial Design in August 1997.

EPA began on-site construction for the long term cleanup in April 1998.  By September 2000, all excavation and site restoration was complete.  A total of approximately 3,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil was excavated and disposed of offsite. On July 13, 2001, U.S. EPA signed a ROD Amendment to address a layer of general refuse found in a city park at the site. The ROD Amendment called for implementation of deed restrictions on the park property to prevent exposure of the waste material. The waste is located beneath three feet of clean soil. 

In February 2002, EPA issued a UAO to the city of Wyandotte, requiring the city to implement the deed restrictions and maintenance of the soil cover in the park. The city has complied with the UAO.

In May 2002, additional cyanide contamination was found beneath the porch of one home near where cleanup work was previously performed. In October 2002, EPA's contractor mobilized to the site, excavated the contamination, and waterproofed the basement wall.  Drainage tile repair at the home was completed in February 2003.

EPA conducted a 5YR beginning in 2010 and issued a report on March 21, 2011.  The remedy was determined to be protective and EPA made no recommendations for follow-up actions concerning the ICs and cover maintenance efforts for the park.

Community Involvement

On September 9, 2010 U.S. EPA announced the beginning of the next Five-Year Review for the site. The announcement was made by an advertisement placed in the News Herald.  U.S. EPA did not receive any comments from the public during the public comment period.  The Five-Year Review report was signed on March 21, 2011.  There were no recommendations or follow-up actions currently associated with the park area of the site.

Property Reuse

The majority of the Lower Ecorse Creek site is residential.  Homes were built on the properties as far back as the mid-1900s. The area continues to remain primarily residential, with the park continuing to be used recreationally. The park contains swing sets, a jungle gym, and a picnic shelter.  The city plans to continue to use this area as a city park.   In the spring of 2006, the Oak Street Site began redevelopment for commercial use.



Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
Ross Del Rosario (delrosario.rosauro@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6195

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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