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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID006030373
Last Updated: June, 2015

Site Description

The Bofors-Nobel site (the Site) is an 85-acre site six miles east of downtown Muskegon in Egelston Township, Muskegon County, Michigan, that includes a formerly operating specialty chemical production facility (Lomac, Inc.) and 10 abandoned sludge lagoons. The site is bounded on the south by Big Black Creek, which receives the site groundwater discharge. Alcohol-based detergents, saccharin, pesticides, herbicides, and dye intermediates were produced at the site, starting around 1960.  The unlined lagoons were used for wastewater and sludge disposal until approximately 1976. Wastes include iron sludge, 3,3'-dichlorobenzidine and other organics, zinc oxide, calcium sulfate sludge, and detergent wastes. In the 1970s, contaminants were discovered by the State of Michigan within site groundwater, and the creek ecosystem was severely affected. In 1976, four extraction wells were installed by Lakeway (since then increased to a total of 12 wells) to capture contaminated groundwater before it reached the creek, and these wells are still present but operate in a limited capacity. Approximately 1,800 people live within a 1.25 mile radius of the site.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Twenty-seven different organic compounds are present in lagoon sludges, underlying soils, and groundwater. The compounds of main concern in groundwater are methylene chloride, benzene, 3,3'-dichlorobenzidine, aniline, azobenzene, benzidine, and toluene.  The compounds of main concern in soils and lagoon sludge are methylene chloride, benzene, 3,3'-dichlorobenzidine, aniline, azobenzene, and benzidine.

Cleanup Progress

The State of Michigan completed a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) on September 17, 1990. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) on September 17, 1990, requiring a groundwater treatment plant (GWTP), using chemical oxidation, and the on-site incineration of approximately 800,000 cubic yards of soil/sludge. EPA amended the remedy on July 22, 1992, to replace incineration with on-site landfilling. The landfill design was completed on May 7, 1993, but suspended due to negotiation with a potentially responsible party (PRP) group, consisting mainly of the current owner/operator (Lomac) and companies who contracted with Bofors for chemical production. These companies included American Cyanamid, Bissell Corp., Union Carbide, Eli Lilly, DuPont, General Electric, Akzo-Nobel, and IBM. A ROD Amendment was signed by EPA on July 16, 1999, to replace the landfill with a barrier wall with groundwater treatment. By entering into a Consent Decree on December 7, 1999, the PRPs committed to the Remedial Design and Remedial Action (RD/RA) associated with the barrier wall remedy. The GWTP was constructed with federal funds. The RD for the GWTP was completed on July 8, 1992. The GWTP was operational and functional on April 30, 1998, and is estimated to operate for at least 43 years and remove approximately 25,000 pounds of total organic contaminant from approximately 10,200,000,000 gallons of groundwater. Under an agreement with the PRPs, the industries adjacent to the site are operating the GWTP. So far, the GWTP has removed approximately 4,500 pounds of contaminant from approximately 2,463,000,000 gallons of groundwater. Installation of the barrier wall portion of the remedy was completed in December 2005, and the second phase of remedy construction was completed in November 2007.  EPA and the Site PRPs continue to determine the installed remedy's effectiveness.  The long-term RA planned completion is December 30, 2041.  An interim containment action for Operable Unit #2 (OU#2) has been ongoing in conjunction with the OU #1 remedy.  EPA is currently conducting a supplemental remedial investigation at OU #2. The final remedy for OU #2, consistent with ongoing OU #1 work, will be chosen through a Record of Decision in 2016.

Community Involvement

EPA published notices of the availability of the proposed plan for remedial action at OU #1 on July 21, 1990, and notices of proposed revisions to the remedial action decision were published on April 6, 1992, and June 17, 1998.

In addition to the required public meetings to solicit comments on formal site decisions, EPA and MDEQ have been available for informal community forums. There has not been active interest in the site from the community since the time of the last remedy decisions approximately 10 years ago.

Property Reuse

Re-use of the site will be limited due to access / property use restrictions and remedy cleanup goals consistent with future industrial use.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
jennifer elkins (elkins.jennifer@epa.gov)
(312) 353-4627

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




Site Profile Information

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


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