Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# MID980794440
Last Updated: December, 2014

Site Description

The 11-acre Ossineke Groundwater Contamination site resulted from a series of unrelated spills and incidents that contaminated the groundwater of local residents within the LaBell subdivision of Ossineke, Michigan. Incidents included leaking underground storage tanks, accidental spills of fuel on the ground, and suspected releases of fuel and other organic compounds into the ground. A second potential source was a laundry/dry cleaning facility and its wash-water pond. Contamination was first detected in 1977 when the Alpena District Health Department (ADHD) began receiving complaints of odors in the drinking water of residents near the site. The ADHD and the Michigan Department of Public Health discovered that five residential wells in the area were contaminated with petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbons. These contaminated wells all drew water from the shallow aquifer below the site. In 1982, additional contamination problems surfaced when gasoline odors in the basements of two local businesses were reported.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982 and placed the site on the NPL in September 1983.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources studied the site in 1984 to determine the potential source of contamination. Groundwater monitoring wells and soil gas surveys detected various petroleum products and chlorinated hydrocarbons in the shallow aquifer under the site. The study pinpointed three areas where the sources of groundwater contamination appeared to be located: the Barn (a gas and convenience store), the Marathon Service Station, and an area southwest of the intersection of Alphonse and LaRose streets.

A five-acre wetland is located about one-quarter mile from the site, while Devils River is three-quarters mile from the site. Approximately 1,140 people live within a three-mile radius of the Marathon Gas Station. Currently, no residents are obtaining drinking water from contaminated groundwater. 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, local, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater under the site contains volatile organic compounds that are petroleum-related. Currently, no residents are obtaining drinking water from contaminated groundwater. However, people could be exposed to hazardous chemicals through accidental ingestion of or direct contact with groundwater. Wetlands, located eight miles from the site, may also be threatened. 

Cleanup Progress

From 1979 to 1984, 14 wells that showed traces of contamination were replaced by the state and local residents. EPA's investigation, completed in early 1991, determined that the source of contamination was from leaking underground storage tanks. Based on these findings, the cleanup of this site was turned over to EPA's Underground Storage Tank (UST) program. Under the UST program, five underground storage tanks and associated piping were removed from the site by late 1995. 

EPA deleted the site from the NPL on January 1, 1996. 

On October 3, 2001, an inspection of the facility was conducted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quallity (MDEQ) and was certified as being in compliance with the Underground Storage Tank requirements in Michigan. In September 2003, a Preliminary Close Out Report was completed for the site indicating that EPA and MDEQ had completed all construction activities at the site. This project is now considered an Open Leaking Underground Storage Tank site and is being addressed by the Cadillac District Office of MDEQ. In 2006, a Long-Term Human Health Protection evaluation was performed and it was determined that long-term human health protection had been achieved at the site.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
demaree collier (collier.demaree@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0214

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.


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.