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EPA, MDEQ, DOJ approve legal agreement for purchase of south portion of McLouth Steel site in Trenton, Mich.

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (

For Immediate Release: No. 18-OPA064

CHICAGO (Oct. 25, 2018) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and U.S. Department of Justice approved a legal agreement involving the purchase, assessment, and cleanup of property on the southern portion of the former McLouth Steel site in Riverview and Trenton, Mich. This federal-state agreement with Crown Enterprises Inc. and MSC Land Co. LLC provides certain legal protections for the purchasers. The companies were not responsible for the contamination of the property.  

This settlement enables MSC and Crown to purchase 183 acres of the former McLouth Steel facility from the Wayne County Land Bank and fosters redevelopment by providing clarity about the companies’ cleanup responsibilities. EPA will continue to investigate and manage existing contamination on the property. MSC will also assess and complete a substantial cleanup of contamination at the site’s southern portion. A public meeting was held on Sept. 5 and a 30-day public comment period on the proposed agreement closed on Sept. 13.

To secure the covenant not to sue, the settlement requires MSC to take the following actions at the southern portion of the site:

  • Demolish about 45 structures;
  • Remove asbestos-containing material, containerized waste and materials containing PCBs from all structures prior to demolition;
  • Install a fence around the property;
  • Remove contaminated water and sludges from 23 subsurface structures (pits, basements and lagoons), clean or remove the structures and, if the structures remain, fill them with clean fill materials;
  • Investigate five areas where PCBs may have been released; and
  • Assess and report on options for stormwater management to eliminate uncontrolled flow to the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River.

To address environmental issues not covered by the settlement, EPA has proposed adding the entire 197-acre southern portion of the site on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Inclusion on the NPL will make work in the southern section eligible for federal funding.

In 2017, Wayne County acquired 183 acres of the 197-acre southern portion through tax foreclosure. The county then entered into a purchase and development agreement with Crown. The additional 15-acres are still owned by DSC LLC.

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