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Congressional District # 04


EPA ID# MID980002273
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Clare Water Supply site covers most of downtown Clare, Michigan, and includes the city's municipal well field.  Two of the four municipal wells show chronic contamination with low levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as trichloroethene (TCE), and hydrocarbons, such as benzene. The aquifer serving the municipal wells became contaminated by multiple sources in an adjacent industrial park. The facilities in this area, located just northwest of the well field, released contaminants from leaking underground storage tanks, waste piles, sludge lagoons that spilled over during rains to surface water that recharged the well field, and from vapor degreasers that leaked through floor drains inside of one of the facilities. 

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater and soil are contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including vinyl chloride, trichloroethone (TCE), dichlorethene (DCE), and dichloroethane, along with fuel-related compounds such as benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and MTBE.  Potential health threats to people include ingestion of or direct contact with contaminated groundwater or contaminated soils if they were to disturb the contents of a soil treatment cell.


Cleanup Progress

On September 27, 1985, a Consent Order was signed, allowing four potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to complete a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) under the oversight of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state.  EPA prepared an Interim Action Record of Decision (ROD) in August 1990. This Interim Action ROD required wellhead treatment of the municipal water supply until the RI/FS was completed and an overall site remedy could be implemented. The ROD selected air stripping of the city water supply as the preferred remedy for the interim action. The air strippers were installed, and began operating, in March 1991.  They are removing over 90 percent of the volatile contaminants from the city's water supply.

A second ROD for the site was signed on September 16, 1992. This ROD selected a combined remedy, which called for use, deed and/or access restrictions, as necessary; soil vapor extraction; and groundwater extraction and treatment, using ultraviolet photochemical oxidation.  After negotiations for a Consent Decree were unsuccessful, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) on August 17, 1992.  This UAO required the PRPs to complete the design and implement the cleanup action.

In April 1995, the PRP group submitted a petition, requesting that the remedy reflected in the 1992 ROD be revised to allow for a different groundwater treatment system.  On August 4, 1995, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences which modified the treatment from ultraviolet photochemical oxidation to air stripping.

The PRPs commenced Phase I of the Remedial Action (RA) in July 1996, with installation of the groundwater collection and treatment system. Phase II of the RA, which involved contaminated soils at the site, was constructed and began operating in March 1999. The soils are being treated in a treatment cell using dual-phase vacuum extraction. This remedy will operate until the cleanup goals and performance standards are met.

After the original site remedies were implemented, another source of chlorinated hydrocarbons was discovered in groundwater at depths greater than 35 feet very near one of the municipal wells in fall 1997. This source has been treated by in-situ ozonation, and contaminant levels have decreased.  Additional hot spots have arisen in the groundwater near this same area, and the PRPs installed additional ozone sparge wells in mid-May 2002.   Statistical analysis of this plume shows that the ozone sparging has stopped the advance of the plume and caused it to retreat somewhat. 

An enhancement was made to the ozone sparge remedy in 2004, when a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) wall was installed on the Mitchell facility.  The PRB intercepts contaminated groundwater moving away from the Mitchell facility and prevents contaminant migration.  In addition, a new municipal well was installed in September 2006. 

In January 2010, the PRPs completed the installation of production well MW-9.  MW-9 replaced City production well MW-5.  MW-9 began operation on March 9, 2010.

On September 20, 2011, U.S. EPA completed the Third statutory five-year review for the Site. The conclusion of the five-year review was the remedy was constructed in accordance with the requirements of the ROD, ROD amendments, and the CD.   The remedy is functioning as designed and is protective of human health and the environment in the short-term.   Long-term protectiveness at the Site will be achieved by continuing the long-term operation and monitoring of the groundwater system and implementation of required ICs.  The Site achieved Site-wide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) status on September 27, 2013.

Success Story

Two 25-foot air stripping towers were installed in 1990 to protect the City's water supply while a remedial investigation and remedial actions could be undertaken.  The air strippers have maintained a safe water supply since early 1991, and they are continuing to treat the water supply prior to distribution.

Community Involvement

EPA conducts regular meetings with the City of Clare and interested citizens. Notices were published in local newspapers announcing the start and completion of five-year reviews conducted at the site in 2006 and 2011.  On August 29, 2009, EPA, MDEQ, PRP consultants, and the City of Clare Water Treatment Plant Operator, held a public availability session with the Shamrock Square Apartments tenants, who were very concerned about the Stanley Oil cleanup. 

Property Reuse

EPA has produced a Re-Use Planning Report for the Clare Site to address how the land area that is encumbered by access restrictions might be opened up for re-use.  The land area that is encumbered encompasses 2.86 acres at 519 W. Fifth Street.  Of this 2.86 acres, 0.62 acres in the middle of the parcel are occupied by a soil treatment cell constructed by the PRPs.  The Record of Decision called for deed and/or access restrictions on the treatment cell itself to prevent exposure to site contaminants and to maintain the integrity of the remedy.  The access restriction requirement is a fence which surrounds the entire 2.86 parcel, even though the restrictions are only required on the .62 acres. 

The EPA Re-Use Planning report identified several potential redevelopment scenarios, including commercial development on the 2.25 acres of unrestricted land and a "Pocket Park" over the .61 acre treatment cell that would connect the two ends of the parcel via a landscaped walkway.  This would bring welcomed redevelopment and beautification to the nearly 3 acres located in downtown Clare.  


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
nabil fayoumi (fayoumi.nabil@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6840

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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