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E-M:/ Head up, Plymouth, MI....

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

U.S. EPA Region 5 News Release

Legal Contact: Nancy Ellen Zusman
(312) 886-5825

Technical Contact: P.C. Lall
(313) 692-7685

Media Contact: Stuart Hill
(312) 886-0689
For Immediate Release: May 22, 1997

No. 97-OPA113


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 said
today that cleanup is now complete at the Evans
Product Ditch site (also known as Newburgh Lake), 
Plymouth, MI.  The site is an 8-acre area which lies between
Plymouth Commerce Park and Newburgh Lake, which flows 
into the Middle Rouge River.  

Over the course of the 6-month project, approximately 9,500 
tons of contaminated soil and sediment were removed
from the site.  The contaminated materials have been transported 
for disposal to a landfill in Michigan and a
hazardous waste disposal facility in New York.

Since the 1950's, many releases of industrial wastes into 
Newburgh Lake have been reported.  These materials
included oil, machine-cleaning solvents, and polychlorinated 
biphenyls (PCB's).  

PCB's were first reported in Newburgh Lake fish in 1988.  
Following a study by Michigan Department of Natural
Resources (now Michigan Department of Environmental Quality), 
a major source of the contamination was
determined to be the drainage ditch and surrounding soil which 
comprise the Evans Product Ditch site.  MDEQ
referred the site to EPA in June 1995, to further assess contamination 
at the site.

The aggressive pace of cleanup was due, in part, to 
cooperation between EPA, State, and local agencies. 
Following characterization and containment of the contaminated 
soil and sediment by EPA, MDEQ funded the soil
and sediment excavation, disposal, and site restoration. 

Cleanup of the Evans Product Ditch allows dredging of 
PCB-contaminated sediments in Newburgh Lake to proceed.
The Rouge River Watershed, which includes Newburgh Lake, 
is currently undergoing a comprehensive restoration
project funded by EPA grants.  When the larger watershed-wide 
cleanup is complete, the need for fish
consumption advisories should be eliminated, habitat for aquatic life 
and wildlife will be restored, and recreational
opportunities are expected to increase.

PCB's are a group of toxic chemicals, once used widely in 
industry as coolants and lubricants.  EPA banned the
manufacture of PCB's in 1979 because of evidence that they 
accumulate in the environment and present human
health hazards.


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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