Gelman Sciences Inc., a former medical filter manufacturer near Ann Arbor, Michigan, left contamination stemming from years of waste handling on its facility grounds. A plume of 1,4-dioxane has spread through the groundwater in Ann Arbor and Scio Townships, including a western part of the city of Ann Arbor.
In 1992, a county circuit court ordered Gelman to address the plume. Gelman was ordered to contain the plume, prevent groundwater use in contaminated areas, prevent well use within the plume or areas threatened by the plume, connect affected properties to municipal water. Michigan Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is the enforcement lead for Gelman site.
Comments on the Gelman Site Inspection (SI) have been received. In response, the following changes have been added as a supplement to the report: all instances where the report reads “liable party” should instead read “potentially responsible party”. Gelman Sciences Inc, Final Site Inspection Report (xlsx) .
EPA has determined that the Gelman Sciences site is eligible to move forward as a candidate for inclusion to the National Priorities List due to high levels of 1,4-dioxane. The NPL is a list of known sites throughout the United States and its territories where historical releases of hazardous substances pose significant threats to human health and the environment.
The site is eligible based on data from a recently completed site inspection and abundant historical data. EPA believes the site should be included on the NPL after analysis showed concentrations of 1,4-dioxane that likely originated from the site were above three times the background levels, or typical levels found in the area. Gelman Sciences operated as a medical filter manufacturer from 1966 until 1986 near Ann Arbor, Michigan. The facility’s waste handling created a plume of the industrial solvent 1,4-dioxane, which has spread and contaminated groundwater in Ann Arbor and Scio Townships.
Before proposing the site to the NPL, it’s EPA’s policy to secure state concurrence. EPA has coordinated with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy throughout the evaluation process and has shared its report with the state agency.
Weston Solutions has drafted the site inspection report and it is currently under EPA review. A final report will be shared with the public once approved by EPA. Residents will receive the results of the sampling on their property after the quality review of the sampling data is completed, expected in mid-May.
EPA is taking the next steps toward NPL listing by securing contracting support for the next phase of evaluation. An additional sampling event is necessary to support the scoring package and will take place this summer. This sampling will utilize Method 522 for 1,4-Dioxane analysis.
EPA has completed carrying out the Site Inspection (SI) Sampling Plan after securing access on the Gelman property and other surrounding areas. Sampling activities ran from September 26 to October 8, 2022. Weston Solutions has begun drafting the site inspection report and expects to provide a draft to EPA by mid-March.
EPA expects to release sampling results to residents in late winter this year.
EPA, in close coordination with Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), is managing our contractor, Weston Solutions, to initiate a Site Inspection (SI) sampling event at the Gelman Sciences Site and surrounding areas.
To date, Weston Solutions has addressed a first round of comments and has submitted a revised version of the Sampling Analysis Plan (SAP). Currently the SAP is under review by our Quality Assurance group.
EPA has been in contact with Gelman Science Inc. to obtain access to their property for needed sampling. Once EPA approves the SAP, we will finalize the access agreement from Gelman and schedule a mutually convenient date to sample their property. At that time EPA and will also obtain access to surrounding areas. Sampling is anticipated for later this summer.
The Community Involvement Coordinator (CIC), Diane Russell assigned to Gelman Science Inc. is currently on detail in Headquarters until September 30, 2022. EPA plans to assign another CIC soon.
EPA continues to closely coordinate with EGLE as part of the Site Assessment process. We like to re-iterate that the Site Inspection sampling will inform the Hazard Ranking System, the primary mechanism to determine the site’s eligibility as a National Priorities List (NPL) candidate. The purpose of the SI sampling is different from a Remedial Investigation which is conducted after a site is listed on the NPL. The Remedial Investigation identifies and delineates the nature and extent of site contamination.
EPA’s contractor, Weston Solutions, has reviewed background site information, prepared a preliminary sampling plan, and shared it with EPA and EGLE. Next, the contractor will finalize the sampling plan which will consist of limited samples of soil, sediment, and groundwater to support EPA’s evaluation of the site for eligibility for the Superfund National Priorities List. Once the plan is approved, EPA anticipates sampling to start in May.
Weston Solutions Inc, (Weston) has been selected to conduct the Gelman Site Inspection, which is the next step to determine if the site continues to be eligible for evaluation as a Superfund National Priorities List site. After initial discussions with EPA, Weston will begin reviewing available data in order to prepare a site inspection sampling plan.
Weston conducted a Conflict of Interest (COI) query in mid Sept 2021 to determine their eligibility to conduct this work for EPA, before EPA opened a task order for them to conduct the site inspection. No conflicts were identified at that time. Weston intends to proactively assess potential COI issues with any additional staff working on the EPA Gelman task order.