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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID060174240
Last Updated: February, 2015

Site Description

The Ott/Story/Cordova site located in Muskegon, Dalton Township, Muskegon County, Michigan, is a former organic chemical production facility that operated under at least three owners from 1957 until 1985 and used as many as five unlined seepage lagoons to dispose of industrial wastewaters and production vessel residues. These practices resulted in contamination of groundwater, soils, and nearby Little Bear Creek and its unnamed tributary. Approximately 10,000 drums of waste material, some of which contained phosgene gas, were also stockpiled onsite. The former production area is approximately 20 acres in size, surrounded by wooded undeveloped land and a semirural residential area with approximately 300 to 500 residents in a one-mile radius of the site. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

Among the most dangerous contaminants are groundwater: vinyl chloride, 1,1-dichloroethene, and 1,2-dichloroethane; soils: benzoic acid, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, 4-chloroaniline, 1,1,1- trichloroethane, xylene, toluene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, hexachlorobenzene, 4,4'-DDT, and dioxin; and Little Bear Creek: 1,1-dichloroethane. 

Cleanup Progress

A partial removal was conducted between 1977 and 1979 by the State of Michigan and former site owner Cordova Chemical Co. By that time a contaminant plume containing at least 40 organic chemicals migrated approximately one mile to the southeast, contaminating the Creek and several private wells. Residents received bottled water until the 1982 installation of a municipal water system by potentially responsible parties in settlement of a citizens' suit. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study and signed a Record of Decision (ROD) on September 29, 1989 for groundwater containment by at least five extraction wells. A second ROD signed on September 29, 1990 requires aquifer restoration by using additional extraction wells and treatment by a Groundwater Treatment Facility (GWTF). On September 27, 1993, U.S. EPA signed a third ROD, selecting Low Temperature Thermal Desorption as the remedy for approximately 10,000 cubic yards of soil and sediment. A ROD Amendment for Creek monitoring and excavation and offsite disposal of approximately 4,000 cubic yards of that soil was signed on February 26, 1998. The soil cleanup was completed under the authority of the State of Michigan. Except for the soil remedy, all cleanup activity has been done under federal and state cost share agreements. The GWTF design was completed on September 29, 1992, which started treating contaminated groundwater on February 24, 1996, and has removed approximately 11,600 pounds of contaminants from approximately 5,426,000,000 gallons of groundwater; system operational and functional status was achieved on September 14, 2000. The Long-Term Response Action (LTRA) and Operation & Maintence (O&M), started on that date, should be completed by September 30, 2030, and also estimates approximately 31,000 pounds of contaminant, removed from approximately 14,500,000,000 gallons of water treated. The soil RA (Operable Unit #3) under the authority of the State of Michigan was completed on March 21, 2002.  In February 2011, the State of Michigan assumed 100 percent of the remedy that has been constructed and is operating.  Additional work by both EPA and the State continues to certify the remedy's effectiveness, supports transfer of the project, and addresses remaining outstanding remedy issues.  EPA completed five-year reviews at the Site in 1997, 2002, 2007, and on September 12, 2012.  That five-year review found that the current remedy continues to protect human health and the environment.

Property Reuse

The former chemical production area (O.U. #3) was cleaned up in 2002, is currently owned by the Muskegon County government, and is for sale as an industrial park.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
john fagiolo (fagiolo.john@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0800

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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