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Congressional District # 06


EPA ID# MID005068143
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

Electro-Voice, Inc. (EV) is an active 11.5-acre site in Buchanan, Berrien County, Michigan, that has been in operation since 1946. Former activities at the facility included painting, electroplating, assembly, die casting, and machining. The business closed in 2000. The property includes the EV building and parking area, a former dry well area where paint wastes and solvents were disposed, former lagoons where electroplating wastes were disposed, and a former fuel tank area. Groundwater contamination extends from EV to approximately one-half mile north of the site. 

EV is surrounded by a residential area and an elementary school. The population of Buchanan is approximately 7,000. All residents are connected to the city water supply system, and the city wells are not threatened by the EV contamination. EV was investigated by the State of Michigan in March 1979, when a drain pipe ruptured, causing plating solution to be released into a lagoon. In January 1980, EV installed four groundwater monitoring wells around the lagoons. Groundwater samples collected from the wells contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and metals. In 1980, the contents from one of the lagoons was removed. The EV site was subsequently placed on the National Priorities List on November 21, 1984. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Soils from the former lagoons and the dry well area contained VOCs, semi-VOCs and metals.  The contaminants in the dry well area seeped into the groundwater and contaminated the groundwater under the site with VOCs and semi-VOCs.  The groundwater contamination extends about one-half mile north of the site.  The main contaminant in the off-property groundwater plume is trichloroethene (TCE).  Other off-property groundwater contaminants include vinyl chloride, chromium, copper, and zinc. 

Cleanup Progress

EV began a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site in December 1987 under an Administrative Order on Consent. The RI/FS was completed in 1991.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected a final cleanup plan for the lagoons, the dry well area soil, and on-property groundwater in a June 1992 Record of Decision (ROD).  After five years of groundwater monitoring and an additional groundwater investigation, EPA selected a final cleanup plan for the off-property groundwater in a ROD signed in September 1999. 

EV entered into a Consent Decree (CD) with EPA to implement the Remedial Design and Remedial Action (RD/RA) for the June 1992 ROD in December 1992.  In 1996, EV constructed a clay cap over the lagoons.  The clay cap is surrounded by a six-foot chain-link fence.  EPA approved the final Remedial Action report for the lagoons in March 1997.  The dry well area soils and on-property groundwater are being cleaned up using an in-situ ventilation and volatilization system (SVVS).  The SVVS uses a combination of air injection, soil vapor extraction, and in-situ biodegradation technologies and was installed in March 1993 as part of EPA's Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Program.  The final RA report for the dry well area soils and on-property groundwater was approved by EPA in November 2003. The RA report concluded that no further remedial activities were required for the dry well area soil.

In September 2000, Mark IV, a successor corporation, reached an agreement with EPA to implement the cleanup plan for the off-property groundwater.  EPA's selected remedy for the off-property groundwater contamination is monitored natural attenuation (MNA) with institutional controls, long-term monitoring, and contingency actions.  EPA anticipates that the groundwater will meet the cleanup goals in approximately 65 years.  

Mark IV entered into a RD/RA CD with EPA to implement the MNA remedy for off-property groundwater contamination in June 2001. The RD off-property groundwater contamination work plan prepared by Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Hubber, Inc. (FTCH), Mark IV's consultant, was approved by EPA in July 2002. RD activities began in August 2002, including the installation of three new monitoring wells and a fence in a low area northwest of the cap; sampling of the new monitoring wells and selected existing monitoring wells; collection of static water levels from all monitoring wells and staff gages; and preparation of a RD Technical Memorandum to present the results of the RD studies. EPA approved the final RD technical memorandum in September 2003. EPA approved the final Natural Attenuation Plan in March 2005.

Three five-year reviews of the remedy at the site have been completed.  These reviews are dated September 28, 2001, September 22, 2006, and September 20, 2011.  As of January 2014, the remedy at the EV Site is considered to be protective of human health and the environment in the short-term.  Exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are under control.  The progress and long-term effectiveness of the natural attenuation remedial action in addressing groundwater contamination will continue to be measured through ongoing groundwater monitoring.  The next five year review for the site is scheduled to be completed by September 2016.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
Giang-Van Nguyen (nguyen.giang-van@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6726

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196

Site Profile Information

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


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