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Allegan Rockwell International Site Tests for PFAS

Allegan Rockwell International Site Tests for PFAS

ALLEGAN, MI – The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has announced that a test well located at the Rockwell International Superfund Site has tested above State thresholds for PFOS and PFOA levels.

The City of Allegan drinking water is on a well system that will not be affected by the detected water plume. City residents in the area directly surrounding the Rockwell site are all connected to the City of Allegan municipal water supply. This drinking water system is tested annually for PFAS compounds, and all tests have come back with no detectable amounts of PFAS. The City of Allegan does have an ordinance prohibiting private drinking water wells within the city limits.

Operations at the Rockwell site began in 1901 with the manufacturing of glass and mirrors and has since included machining and assembling automotive drive-line parts, recycling, composting, and a paint shop. Waste streams generated at the site contained cutting oils, lubricants, emulsifiers, oxidation inhibitors, cleaning compounds, treatment compounds, metal filings, metal, and cyanide salts. The site had three waste stream holding ponds and a soluble oil pond all of which had several documented oil spills to the Kalamazoo River.

In 1981, as part of its responsibilities under federal law, Rockwell submitted a report notifying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of hazardous waste at the site. In 1984, EPA conducted a preliminary assessment which showed contamination at the site. On July 27, 1987, the site was placed on the National Priorities List as a Superfund Site.

The site went through extensive cleanup activities from April to November 2006 and again from October 2010 to January 2011. A total of 32,571 tons of contaminated soil and sediment were dug up and removed during this time. Any contaminated groundwater exposed during these activities was treated on-site and discharged to the local wastewater facility.

In October 2012, EPA approved a groundwater monitoring program. The monitoring program sampled the existing 29 monitoring wells and installed 21 new wells around the site. In August 2016, EPA filed a Record of Decision Amendment requiring implementation of a long-term ground water monitoring program, industrial controls, and five-year reviews.

In September 2020, EPA sampled five monitoring wells. One well exceeded the allowable PFAS levels with PFOS at 60ppt and PFOA at 24ppt. EGLE criteria requires PFOS to be below 16ppt and PFOA to be below 8ppt.

EPA and EGLE are currently requiring Rockwell International to develop a plan that will include additional groundwater sampling to delineate the plume of PFAS compounds. This is expected to occur in the fall of 2022 once the work plan is approved by the EPA and EGLE.

Additional information on the Rockwell International Superfund site is available at: www.epa.gov/superfund/rockwell-intl-allegan/

Additional information on PFAS found at the Rockwell International site is available at: www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse

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