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Velsicol Burn Pit Superfund Site

Site Information

Velsicol Burn Pit

Gratiot County Landfill

Velsicol Chemical Corporation (Michigan) Site

Contact Information

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Community Involvement Coordinator
Diane Russell (russell.diane@epa.gov)

Remedial Project Manager
Jena Sleboda Braun
312-886-0272 or 800-621-8431, ext. 60272

State Contact
Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality
Dan Rockafellow (rockafellowd@michigan.gov) 517-284-5143


(where to view written records)

T.A. Cutler Memorial Library
312 Michigan Ave,
St. Louis, MI

See also Velsicol Chemical Corp. (Michigan) Superfund site


The Velsicol burn Pit site consists of approximately five acres of land in St. Louis, Michigan. The site lies east of the Hidden Oaks Golf Course on Monroe Road. From 1956 until 1970, the Michigan Chemical Corporation, which was later purchased by the Velsicol Chemical Corporation, burned and disposed of industrial waste, including the pesticide DDT, on the site. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of hazardous waste were disposed of on the site. The burn pit site was first proposed to the National Priorities List, or NPL, in 1982. At that time, Velsicol removed 68,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. As a result, the proposed NPL listing was cancelled. However, in 2006, additional soil and ground-water contamination was discovered and EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality again proposed the site be listed and it was finally placed on the National Priorities List in March, 2010. As a result, the site is now eligible for federal cleanup funding.

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Site Updates

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November 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to use a heat treatment to remove liquid, tar-like pollutants to clean up soil and groundwater contamination in the Velsicol Burn Pit site. The method is officially called “in situ thermal treatment.” It is designed to remove non-aqueous phase liquids, or NAPL. The proposed treatment plan will also reduce contaminant concentrations in the soil and capture liquid and vapor pollutants through multiphase extraction. Multiphase extraction uses a vacuum system to remove various combinations of contaminated groundwater, petroleum products and vapors from underground. “Groundwater” is an environmental term for underground supplies of fresh water. NAPL is a liquid solution that does not mix easily with water and is difficult to remove.

Many common ground water contaminants, including chlorinated solvents and many petroleum products can travel underground and form into non-aqueous-phase solutions. If the NAPL is denser than water, it is called DNAPL. It will tend to sink once it reaches the water table. If the NAPL is lighter than water, it is called LNAPL, and it will float on top of the water table.

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