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Peerless Plating Co.

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Cheryl Allen (allen.cheryl@epa.gov)
312-353-6196 or 800-621-8431, ext. 36196

Remedial Project Manager
Linda Martin (martin.lindab@epa.gov)
312-886-3854 or 800-621-8431, ext. 63854



(where to view written records)

Norton Shores Branch Library
705 Seminole Road
Muskegon, MI


The Peerless Plating Co. site is a one-acre abandoned electroplating facility, located in Muskegon. Electroplating operations were carried out at the plant from 1937 to 1983. Toxic, corrosive, reactive, and flammable chemicals were used in the electroplating process. The plant discharged its wastewater into three unlined seepage lagoons at the back of the facility. The wastewater contained heavy metals and were highly acidic or basic. When the plant closed in 1983, it was abandoned; plating solutions, raw materials, and drummed waste remained throughout the facility. In 1983, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources discovered that drains inside one of the buildings did not connect with the site's sanitary sewer or wastewater treatment system; instead, the wastes drained directly onto the ground. The state also discovered drums onsite. In 1983, the Michigan Department of Public Health detected hydrocyanic acid gas in the facility's atmosphere. The owner's failure to take immediate action to remove the gas prompted the state to contact the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to assist in reducing the threat to public health caused by the gas.

The surrounding area is mixed residential, commercial, and light industrial development. Approximately 3,350 people live within a three-mile radius of the site. Seven schools, a hospital, and a correctional facility are located within one mile. The nearest residence is located within 600 feet of the site. Approximately 1,500 people obtain drinking water from private wells, operating within a three-mile radius. The city uses the shallow aquifer as the only groundwater alternative to the municipal water supply which draws from Lake Michigan. Little Black Creek flows to the southeast and empties into Mona Lake, two miles downstream from the site. U.S. EPA has found site-related contaminants in Little Black Creek. However, other contaminant sources exist upstream and have appeared to contribute to this contamination of Little Black Creek.

Site Updates | Latest Update | Fact Sheets || Five-Year Reviews

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Site Updates

July 2011

In fall 1983, U.S. EPA removed 37,000 gallons of sulfuric, nitric, and chromic acids; cyanide plating solution; chromium plating solution; hydrochloric acid; and TCE. U.S. EPA also drained waste lagoons; removed soil from the lagoon areas; cleaned the interior of the building; decontaminated vats, lines, and tanks; sealed sewer lines; neutralized cyanide and nitric acid onsite; and transported hazardous materials to a federally-regulated facility. In 1991, U.S. EPA removed approximately 2,500 gallons of liquids, containing heavy metals and cyanide, from an onsite tank. In addition, the potentially responsible parties eliminated immediate sources of contamination, encapsulated asbestos insulation from an oven, and fenced the site.

In 1989, U.S. EPA began a study of the nature and extent of contamination at the site, focusing on the groundwater, soil, and the effect of site-related contaminants on surface waters. In 1992, the study was completed, and a remedy was selected. It called for the treatment of contaminated soils through in-situ vapor extraction of the organic compounds and stabilization of the inorganic compounds. The treated soils will be disposed of offsite in a licensed hazardous waste facility.

The design for this remedy was completed in 1996; U.S. EPA has obligated Superfund monies to implement the remedy. Soil vapor extraction was completed, and approximately 7,500 tons of soil were removed. Construction of the groundwater treatment system has been completed, and the system has been operational since August 2001. It is expected to run over the next 10 years.

A second 5 year review was completed for this site in July 2007. It found that the remedy in place remains protective of human health and the envirnment. Groundwater cleanup continues. There are no changes in the status of this site.

A third 5 year review is scheduled to begin July 2011.

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