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U.S. EPA REGION 5
GRATIOT COUNTY
ST. LOUIS

Congressional District # 04

VELSICOL BURN PIT

EPA ID# MIN000510389
Last Updated: September, 2014

Site Description

The Velsicol Burn Pit (formerly known as the Gratiot County Golf Course) site consists of approximately five acres of land in St. Louis, Michigan.  From 1956 until 1970, the Michigan Chemical Corporation (later purchased by the Velsicol Chemical Corporation) burned and disposed of industrial waste, including the pesticide DDT, on the site.  Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of hazardous waste were disposed of on the site.  The site consists of contaminated groundwater and two ash piles on top of the former burn area.  The inactive former burn area occupies part of a small ridge located approximately 1,200 feet northwest of the Pine River.  The former burn area is located within the boundaries of the Hidden Oaks Golf Course.

This site was first proposed to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1982.  At that time, Velsicol removed 68,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. As a result, the proposed NPL listing was cancelled.  In 2006, additional soil and groundwater contamination was discovered and U.S. EPA and the State of Michigan decided to re-propose this area to the NPL.  In March 2010, the site was placed on the NPL.  Consequently, the site is now eligible for federal funding and further analysis, plus a study of possible cleanup options to address potential risks to human health and the environment.  However, private residential or municipal drinking water wells are not believed to be affected by this site.

Site Responsibility

The site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Approximately 345,600 square feet of contaminated soil and two burn pit ash/remnant piles remain on the site.  Elevated levels of benzene and 1,2-dichloroethane have been found in the soils and in the underlying groundwater beneath the site.

Cleanup Progress

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has completed a Remedial Investigation (RI) for the Velsicol Chemical Corp Main Plant site, which included the Velsicol Burn Pit Site.  EPA determined that additional data was needed for the Burn Pit site, and conducted sampling in July and August 2012 .  The EPA then updated the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments, and more fully characterized the site in an amendment to the original RI.  The updated RI report was issued in October 2013.  The EPA then performed a Feasibility Study (FS) to determine what cleanup options are available.   After the cleanup options are fully evaluated, EPA will issue the FS report and a proposed plan to describe the preferred remedy for the site.  Once the proposed plan is issued, there will be a public comment period when interested parties can submit comments regarding the preferred remedy to EPA.  EPA will then issue a Record of Decision (ROD) that describes the remedy selected by EPA. 

Community Involvement

The U.S. EPA attends meetings held by the local community group, the Pine River Superfund Citizen Task Force to update the community of progress at the site.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
jena sleboda (sleboda.jena@epa.gov)
(312) 353-1263

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
teresa jones
(312) 886-0725

Site Profile Information

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

 


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