EPA Takes Action on Public Health Risks by Proposing the Michner Plating-Mechanic Street Site in Jackson, Michigan, for the Superfund National Priorities List
CHICAGO (Sept. 8, 2021) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed adding 13 sites nationwide, including the Michner Plating-Mechanic Street site in Jackson, Michigan, to the National Priorities List. The NPL is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for remedial cleanup action financed under the federal Superfund program.
With this Superfund NPL update, the Biden-Harris Administration is demonstrating a commitment to updating the NPL twice a year. By pledging to add sites more regularly to the NPL, EPA is taking action to protect the health of communities across the country while cleaning up and returning blighted properties to safe and productive reuse in areas where environmental cleanup and jobs are needed most.
“EPA recognizes that no community deserves to have contaminated sites near where they live, work, pray, and go to school. By adding sites to the Superfund NPL, we are helping to ensure that more communities living near the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination have the protection they deserve,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to increasing funding and working with Congress on the bipartisan infrastructure deal to provide the Superfund Program with the resources it needs to address a backlog of sites awaiting cleanup, as well as additional sites in need of cleanup.”
The Michner Plating-Mechanic Street is adjacent to the Grand River and consists of four buildings within four-acres in a mixed residential and commercial portion of the city of Jackson. The site is a former metal plating facility which operated from 1938 until 2007. The state issued numerous violation notices to the facility beginning in 1989 and nearly every year until it ceased operations in 2007.
The state of Michigan referred the site to the EPA because of the extensive contamination left in place at the Michner Plating facility. Contamination at the site includes solvents, arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and high concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) including vinyl chloride. In addition, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been detected in groundwater beneath the site. EPA has removed approximately 1,100 drums and hundreds of 55-gallon totes, but buried drums remain beneath the building slab. The site is currently owned by Jackson County, which intends to redevelop the property for productive use after cleanup.
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.
EPA proposes sites to the NPL based on a scientific determination of risks to people and the environment, consistent with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.
Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited for significant reductions in both birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24 percent within three miles of sites after cleanup.
Further, thanks to Superfund cleanups, communities are now using previously blighted properties for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. As of 2020, EPA has collected economic data on 632 Superfund sites, finding 9,900 businesses in operation, 227,000 people employed, $16.3 billion in employee-earned income, and $63.3 billion in business-generated sales.
For information about Superfund and the NPL, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for NPL and proposed sites, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites