EPA Completes Five Year Review of Superfund Site

A review of cleanup at the Hi-Mill Manufacturing Superfund site found the cleanup process continues to be effective and protective of human health and the environment, said EPA.

EPA Region 5 said that a required 5-year review of cleanup at the Hi-Mill Manufacturing Superfund site, Highland Township, Mich., has been completed.

The review confirmed that the cleanup remedy continues to be effective and protective of human health and the environment, said EPA officials.

The Superfund law requires reviews of sites at least every five years where cleanup is complete, but where pollutants are still managed on-site.

The site has been an industrial property since 1946, when Hi-Mill first began fabricating copper, aluminum and brass tubing parts and fittings.

A degreasing agent that was used for cleaning metal parts until 1988 caused the soil and groundwater contamination at the site.

Hi-Mill was placed on EPA''s Superfund National Priorities List in 1990. EPA''s investigation of site conditions and contamination was completed in 1992.

The agency issued a Record of Decision in September 1993, requesting that no action with groundwater monitoring and institutional controls be taken.

EPA said it made this decision primarily because the ground water near the facility will probably never be used for residential purposes.

Under EPA oversight, since October 1995, Hi-Mill has performed quarterly water quality testing at 19 to 23 separate groundwater points on or near its property.

This past spring, H-Mill proposed to EPA that it perform a voluntary cleanup of the most contaminated groundwater area.

Hi-Mill also asked that the frequency and extent of its required groundwater monitoring be reduced.

Upon review of the monitoring data and an inspection of current site conditions, EPA approved Hi-Mill''s requests to reduce monitoring and to proceed with the voluntary cleanup.

Under the reduced monitoring program, two wells will be sampled quarterly, three wells will be sampled twice a year, and 18 wells will be sampled annually.

The first round of groundwater treatment under Hi-Mill''s voluntary action was completed this summer.

EPA expects a report from the company in 2001, upon completion of the voluntary cleanup.

The next five year review of the site will be conducted by June 2005.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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