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E-M:/ Kalamazoo Lakeside Refinery Site

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

Legal Contact: Tom Williams
                                                   (312) 886-0814 

                                          Technical Contacts: Victor Ho
                                                  (312) 886-71802 

                                                        Pete Guria
                                                   (312) 353-1909 

                                            Media Contact: Mick Hans
                                                   (312) 353-5050 

            For Immediate Release: December 2, 1997 

            No. 97-OPA313 


            U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 said today
            that its cleanup of the abandoned Lakeside Refinery site (Kalamazoo,
            MI) is now complete. The $6.7 million effort--paid for entirely by
            EPA--took nearly 2 years. 

            The 50-acre site was an oil refinery and bulk fuel storage
facility from
            1939 to 1984. After the refining operations ceased, the site was
            on a very limited basis, as a storage facility until 1996--when
            cleanup began. 

            Since 1972, at least five documented oil spills have occurred,
            in the release of oil and other contaminants into soils
surrounding the
            property, ground water, and Davis Creek, which runs through the site
            and flows into the Kalamazoo River, about 1.5 miles to the
north. The
            Kalamazoo River then empties into Lake Michigan. 

            Prior to cleanup, the site posed numerous environmental and human
            health concerns. These included: asbestos exposure from piping and
            petroleum distillation towers covered with asbestos insulation;
            exposure to lead, mercury, flammable liquids, and caustic
liquids and
            solids by children and trespassers; and health threats to wildlife
            tempted to drink from water-filled areas contaminated by oil. 

            Over the course of the cleanup, EPA removed about 270,000 gallons
            of oil, 3,200 tons of scrap metal, 1,400 cubic yards of asbestos,
            33,000 gallons of flammable liquids, 15,000 gallons of caustic
            25,000 tons of contaminated soil, and 18 tons of miscellaneous
            hazardous waste materials from the site. Much of the scrap metal was
            sent to local recycling facilities. 

            In addition, 4.5 million gallons of oily water from the site was
            by EPA's mobile water treatment unit; contaminated sludge from a
            lagoon was excavated and removed; and portions of the site were
            regraded to direct surface water runoff toward Davis Creek. 

            The cleanup was supervised by a Chicago-based Superfund
            emergency response team, and coordinated with Michigan
            Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the City of

            With EPA's work completed, MDEQ plans to clean up several
            additional portions of the site that contain petroleum-contaminated
            soil. The City of Kalamazoo and MDEQ are also working together to
            redevelop the property under Michigan's Brownfields program. 



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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