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Congressional District # 4


EPA ID# MID980791461
Last Updated: April, 2015

Site Description

The Avenue E Groundwater Contamination Superfund site, located in Grand Traverse County, Michigan, includes the United States Coast Guard (USCG) search and rescue station and surrounding areas where the contamination plume has migrated to the Avenue E wells downgradient of the Air Station. The site is approximately 435 acres. The United States Department of the Navy (Navy) initially operated the Air Station in 1943, until the USCG assumed control in 1945. In the maintenance and servicing of aircraft, the USCG and the US Navy routinely used oils, lubricants, paints, paint stripping solvents, aviation gasoline, and dry cleaning solvents. Chemicals have been released to the ground since the Air Station opened in 1943, by direct dumping, spills, and storage leaks. In late 1980, several private residences downgradient of the Air Station in East Bay Township were found to have contaminated wells. 

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed by the US Coast Guard under an agreement with the State of Michigan. 

Threats and Contaminants

In late 1980, several private residences downgradient of the Air Station in East Bay Township were found to have contaminated wells. Contaminants included benzene, toluene, acetone, trichloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, and other organic compounds. 

Cleanup Progress

In January 1981, Traverse City municipal water supply lines were extended to the contaminated area, 15 square blocks in the area between Parsons Road to the south and Grand Traverse Bay to the north. Approximately 28 Avenue E homeowners connected their homes to the lines. 

On June 25, 1982, a Memorandum Of Understanding between the USCG and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was signed. In this agreement, EPA agreed to provide funding pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to connect the remaining residences in the Avenue E area to the city water supply. The agreement required the USCG to conduct hydrogeological studies to determine the source of the groundwater contamination and, if studies showed the USCG to be responsible, required them to reimburse EPA for the expenses incurred for connecting the residents to the city water supply. 

In 1983, the USCG completed its investigation into the nature and extent of contamination at the site. In 1985, the USCG installed two blocking wells to pump groundwater and prevent further contamination from leaving the property. This groundwater is treated to remove contaminants and discharged to the Traverse City sanitary sewer system. Also in 1985, the U.S. Department of Justice and the USCG signed a Consent Order, requiring the USCG to study contamination at the site and to recommend cleanup alternatives. 

Concentrations of contaminants in all of the interdiction wells have reached the cleanup criteria stipulated in the Consent Order and have been shut off. The five-year monitoring period, stipulated in the Consent Order, has begun. A Preliminary Close Out Report was signed in September 2000.  

A Five-Year Review was completed in September 2005.  The Five-Year Review found that the remedy at the Ave E site was protective of human health and the environment because the treatment system put in place reached cleanup standards indicated in the 1987 settlement agreement between the USCG and the State.  Current monitoring results indicate that the contaminants in the groundwater remain below the 1987 settlement agreement clean up critera.   A Final Close-Out Report was signed in September 2006.  The Site has been deleted from the NPL.

There has been no change in the status of this site since the last update (4/20/2015).

Property Reuse

The property is currently being used as an active USCG facility.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
linda martin (martin.lindab@epa.gov)
(312) 886-3854

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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