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EPA Begins Cleanup At Pickens Plating Superfund Site In Albion, Mich.

Release Date: 10/19/2010
Contact Information: Jayna Legg, 312-353-0562, legg.jayna@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA129

CHICAGO (Oct. 19, 2010) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has begin cleanup of an abandoned zinc electroplating facility in Albion, Mich. EPA will spend a little more than $1 million to clean up approximately 100,000 gallons of uncontrolled hazardous waste at the Pickens Plating Superfund site on Industrial Drive.

This summer Albion officials asked EPA to help clean up hazardous materials left behind when Pickens declared bankruptcy in June 2009. The contaminants include toxic acids, metals and chemicals stored in drums, containers and vats – some open and leaking. EPA determined the site posed an “imminent and substantial threat” to public health and the environment.

Cleanup workers will first identify, consolidate and repackage hazardous materials on site. They will then remove the waste to an approved off-site location. Other activities on site will include monitoring the air, decontaminating buildings and possibly dismantling some structures.

Once the initial cleanup is completed later this year, the site will be referred to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment for any long-term cleanup or pollution management.

The 4-acre Pickens property includes one main building with several additions. Pickens Plating was founded in 1963 and specialized in zinc electroplating, mostly for the automotive industry. At its peak, Pickens employed 13 people. The company closed in 2009. Title to the property reverted to Calhoun County this March in lieu of back taxes.

For more information on the cleanup, e-mail EPA On-Scene Coordinator Jeffrey Lippert at lippert.jeffrey@epa.gov, or go to http://www.epaosc.org/pickensplating online.

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