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EPA Wraps Up $200,000 Marshall Township Cleanup

Release Date: 06/18/2010
Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov (MDNRE) Robert McCann, 517-241-7917, mccannr@michigan.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA066

(CHICAGO – June 18, 2010) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 this week wraps up a $200,000 cleanup of Midwest Metallurgical Laboratories, a shuttered iron-casting business at 15290 15 Mile Road, Marshall Township, in Calhoun County near Battle Creek, Mich. Work at the site began May 11.

The Calhoun County Treasurer’s office brought the site to EPA’s attention. A Grosse Ille, Mich.-based Superfund emergency response team performed the work using federal government contractors, and in consultation with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. A cost recovery effort involving the former operators of the facility, as well as companies that may have contributed hazardous waste to the site continues on a separate track.

The 25-acre property includes a main building and two smaller storage structures built around 1960. Site records indicate that Midwest Metallurgical Laboratories ceased operations in 2002, with about 65 people employed at the time. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006, with the case converted to Chapter 7 in 2008.

EPA’s cleanup focused on disposal of more than 300 containers of hazardous and/or flammable chemicals including sulfuric acid and isopropyl alcohol. These included about 85 drums and a variety of jars, bottles and dry materials, some of which were unmarked or showed signs of leakage or decay. The hazardous materials were segmented by type, repacked safely for shipping and sent to EPA-approved hazardous waste facilities.

About 100 tons of non-hazardous solid waste was also sent for disposal at EPA-approved facilities. This included 25 bags of foundry sand—a process waste product containing low levels of metals such as lead—found scattered and buried at the site. Two 30-yard rolloff boxes of non-hazardous debris (crushed drums, plastics and disposable protective cleanup equipment) and 2,500 gallons of non-hazardous liquids (oil and water) were also sent to disposal facilities.

EPA also sampled an on-site well for the foundry sand contaminants. The measurements for metals were all within health standards for drinking water.

While working at the Marshall Township site, officials from nearby Albion brought another shuttered local business to the EPA team’s attention. EPA is now evaluating the Pickens Plating property at 1000 Industrial Ave. for a possible cleanup later this summer. The site contains several hundred drums and open vats of plating chemicals.

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