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News Releases from Region 05

EPA orders Trex Properties to address indoor air contamination in Grand Rapids

Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)

For Immediate Release: No. 16-OPA020

(CHICAGO) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered Trex Properties LLC to clean up indoor air contamination at a former solvent reclamation facility in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company has agreed to the cleanup and will begin work this week. EPA became involved at the site on June 9, 2016, after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services requested assistance to assess a potential trichloroethylene (TCE) vapor intrusion issue.

Earlier today, the Kent County Health Department evacuated the commercial building 312 Ellsworth Ave SW due to unsafe levels of TCE found in the indoor air. The property will remain unoccupied until clearance is provided. 

Initial samples at the facility were taken by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and showed TCE levels up to 200 times above the state health screening level. EPA has collected indoor air samples at four nearby commercial properties. All results showed indoor air levels below the state health screening level. Additional work by Trex Properties will include assessments of the surrounding area.  

This is one of two vapor intrusion sites EPA has been asked to investigate in Grand Rapids this month. At the first site, EPA is addressing high levels of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) from a former dry cleaner. The Trex site addresses TCE from the former Detrex Corp. where MDEQ has overseen a voluntary, ongoing corrective action cleanup since the facility’s closure in the 1990s.

For more information, visit: https://www.epa.gov/mi/grand-rapids-vapor-intrusion