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NPL Site Narrative for Rockwell International Corp. (Allegan Plant)

Allegan, Michigan

Federal Register Notice:  July 22, 1987

Conditions at proposal (April 10, 1985): Rockwell International Corp. manufactures universal joints for the automotive industry on a 30.4-acre site in Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan. The plant is in a residential neighborhood and on the banks of the Kalamazoo River, which is used for recreational activities.

During 1910-60, the company discharged waste water containing sludge, heavy metals, process wastes, and oils into the Kalamazoo River. During 1960-72, the waste water was discharged into two unlined ponds on the site. In 1972, the company built a plant to treat cutting fluid wastes, which contain emulsified oils, ferric chloride, sodium hydroxide, and a polymer flocculent. The treated wastes were discharged into one of two unlined ponds.

Ground water on the site is contaminated with lead, arsenic, cyanide, and 4-methyl-2-pentanone, according to tests conducted by EPA. Private wells downgradient of the plant are contaminated with heavy metals and cyanide, according to EPA. About 6,900 people depend on shallow wells within 3 miles of the site as a source of drinking water. EPA also detected heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in the Kalamazoo River.

In October 1980, Rockwell received Interim Status under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by filing Part A of a permit application. Later, Rockwell withdrew the application because it did not meet Interim Status criteria.

Status (July 22, 1987): EPA is considering various alternatives for the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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