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Tar Lake

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Printable Version (PDF) (44 K, 2 pp)

Site Description

Tar Lake is a four-acre depression that was filled with tar waste on a former 200 acre iron manufacturing site. From the 1882 until 1944, Antrim Iron Works Company fired its furnaces with coke which it made from wood. The tar waste was a by-product of their operation. The site has been split up into two Operable Units (OUs), or cleanup projects addressing contaminated groundwater and soil.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In September 1992, EPA selected a cleanup plan that excavated and removed tar waste and contaminated soils to a secure, offsite facility, installed an interim groundwater containment system, and implemented institutional controls.
  • From 1998 through July 1999, 47,000 tons of tar waste was removed and was burned in a secure facility in Niagara Falls, NY.
  • In July 1999, a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) was conducted for surface soils across the entire 200-acre iron manufacturing site, including residue tar beneath the four-acre depression on-site and off-site groundwater (OU2).
  • In February 2002, EPA released its plan to conduct cleanup work of both the remaining contaminated soils in the four-acre depression and for the groundwater contamination.
  • Further investigation found that the contamination was not as extensive as originally expected. After receiving public comment, EPA revised its cleanup plan to address this change.
  • Based on the new plan, EPA removed and disposed of the remaining contaminated material. This is expected to substantially diminish the onsite contaminated groundwater within the next three years. An on-site biosparge (PDF) (1.5M, 2 pp) system was installed to pump oxygen and nutrients into the water, which enhances the natural activities of the microscopic "bugs" (microbes) that help breakdown hazardous materials.
  • EPA completed construction work at this site and achieved the construction complete milestone on September 28, 2004.

Current Funding Status

  • From 1998 through July 1999, 47,000 tons of tar waste was removed and was burned in a secure facility in Niagara Falls, NY, at a cost of $9.6 million.
  • The RI/FS developed for OU2 cost approximately $790,000.
  • The fund-lead remedial action for OU2 conducted from June through September 2004 cost approximately $1,200,000. During this removal 21,000 tons of rind and tar waste from the Creosote area were disposed off-site in a local RCRA Subtitle D landfill.
  • EPA awarded Antrim County, a $200,000 grant to assess several Brownfields abandoned or underused industrial sites. The county also received a $100,000 Redevelopment Initiative grant.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Tar Lake Fact Sheet on the Region 5 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • From 1998 through July 1999, 47,000 tons of tar waste was removed and burned in a secure facility in Niagara Falls, NY.
  • EPA awarded Antrim County, a $200,000 grant to assess several Brownfields abandoned or underused industrial sites. The county also received a $100,000 Redevelopment Initiative grant.
  • EPA completed construction work at this site and achieved the construction complete milestone on September 28, 2004.

 

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