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EPA holds public comment period on Buick City cleanup proposal, hearing Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.

Release Date: 01/28/2010
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA007

(CHICAGO – Jan. 28, 2010) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 opens a public comment period today on a range of cleanup options that address historical contamination on the Southend portion of the former General Motors Buick City property in Flint, Mich. A public hearing will be held Feb. 18, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Mott Community College’s Regional Technology Center Auditorium, 1401 E. Court St. The comment period runs from Jan. 28 to Feb. 28, 2010.nd water polluted by gasoline and hydraulic fluid. At present, the ground water contamination is contained within the site boundaries and has not affected local drinking water supplies or reached the Flint River.

Current owner Motors Liquidation Co. is preparing the Southend portion of the 452-acre property for potential redevelopment. The Southend includes the area south of Leith Street, bounded to the east by Cole Boulevard and the Flint River and to the south by Harriet Street. The Northend portion of Buick City will be addressed separately.

“Bringing new business to the Buick City site can jump-start economic recovery in Flint,” said Margaret Guerriero, director of EPA Region 5’s Land and Chemicals Division. “Community input on the site cleanup plan is a vital step in this process.”

After public comment is considered, EPA, in consultation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, will select cleanup plans for three separate areas of the Southend:

  • Lead-contaminated soil, primarily concentrated in four separate hot spots.
  • A small area of off-site lead-contaminated soil at the CSX Railroad property, located along the southeast border of Buick City.
  • Contaminated subsurface ground water polluted by gasoline and hydraulic fluid. At present, the ground water contamination is contained within the site boundaries and has not affected local drinking water supplies or reached the Flint River.

A range of cleanup options are presented in an EPA “statement of basis” document and in a fact sheet. They will also be presented at the public meeting. Estimated cost for EPA’s preferred cleanup alternatives for the three areas and long-term ground water monitoring: $5.9 million. MLC will pay for the cleanup through legal agreements to be signed once the cleanup plans are selected. EPA and MDNRE will provide oversight throughout the process.

Comments on the proposed cleanup options will be accepted at the meeting both orally and in writing. Residents may access a comment form in the fact sheet posted online. For more information, including the statement of basis and the fact sheet, see http://www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/wptdiv/sites/buickcity/. An information repository with site documents has been established at the Flint Main Branch Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley St.

Residents with questions about the meeting or who need special accommodations may contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Rafael Gonzalez during business hours at 800-621-8431 Ext. 60269, or gonzalez.rafaelp@epa.gov. Comments about the proposed cleanup can also be e-mailed to Rafael Gonzalez.

Automotive production at the Buick City property began in the 1890’s. The Buick Motor Co. moved to Flint in 1903 and became a division of General Motors when that corporation was formed in 1908. The facility also produced military equipment during World Wars I and II. Manufacturing operations at the Southend portion of the site ceased in 1999.

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