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E-M:/ Berlin and Farro Waste Site.....Heads Up!!!

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

Heads up "how clean is clean" folks,  state dumpsite groups, 
persons concerned in general with waste cleanups and 
Flint-area enviro's......

The Berlin and Farro site in Swartz Creek  is the "king kong" of all illegal
waste dump sites in the State of Michigan.   Here, in today's
Federal Register notice, U.S. EPA Region V is proposing to 
remove the Berlin and Farro site from the National Priority 
List for waste cleanups under the Federal Superfund law.

Berlin and Farro was a poorly operated waste incineration site
that also had buried hazardous waste drums and logoons that
received waste.   This site was poorly regulated from its very

Although wastes were removed from this site in the 1980's, 
including some which illegally were sewered in the Detroit
wastewater treatment system via a waste site,  citizens
around the site believe significant contamination yet remains.
Yet aspects of this site are being handled as a "type C" 
cleanup....cover it up and leave it.....  This is cheaper for
the responsible parties who shipped waste here and for
the state of Michigan MDEQ, which inherited the site
after Berlin and Farro went into bankruptcy..

Persons interested in working on this issue should call
Verna Courtemanche (810) 635-9497 in Swartz Creek.


[Federal Register: January 21, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 13)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 3061-3063]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 3061]]




40 CFR Part 300

National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; 
National Priorities List

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of intent to delete the Berlin and Farro Liquid 
Incineration Site from the national priorities list; request for 


SUMMARY: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) 
Region V announces its intent to delete the Berlin and Farro Liquid 
Incineration Site (the Site) from the National Priorities List (NPL) 
and requests public comment on this action. The NPL constitutes 
Appendix B of 40 CFR part 300 which is the National Oil and Hazardous 
Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), which U.S. EPA promulgated 
pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) as amended. This 
action is being taken by U.S. EPA, because it has been determined that 
responsible parties have implemented all appropriate response actions 
required under CERCLA. U.S. EPA, in consultation with the State of 
Michigan, has determined that no further response is appropriate. 
Moreover, U.S. EPA and the State have determined that remedial 
activities conducted at the Site to date have been protective of public 
health, welfare, and the environment.

DATES: Comments concerning the proposed deletion of the Site from the 
NPL may be submitted on or before February 20, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to Gladys Beard, Associate Remedial 
Project Manager, Superfund Division, U.S. EPA, Region V, 77 W. Jackson 
Blvd. (SR-6J), Chicago, IL 60604. Comprehensive information on the Site 
is available at U.S. EPA's Region V office and at the local information 
repository located at: Gaines Township Hall, 9255 W. Grand Blanc Rd., 
Gaines, Michigan 48436. Requests for comprehensive copies of documents 
should be directed formally to the Region V Docket Office. The address 
and phone number for the Regional Docket Officer is Jan Pfundheller (H-
7J), U.S. EPA, Region V, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Whippo at (312) 886-4759 (SR-
6J), Remedial Project Manager or Gladys Beard (SR-6J), Associate 
Remedial Project Manager, Superfund Division, U.S. EPA, Region V, 77 W. 
Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-7253 or Don Deblasio, (P-
19J), Office of Public Affairs, U.S. EPA, Region V, 77 W. Jackson 
Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-4360.


Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. NPL Deletion Criteria
III. Deletion Procedures
IV. Basis for Intended Site Deletion

I. Introduction

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region V announces 
its intent to delete the Berlin and Farro Liquid Incineration Site from 
the National Priorities List (NPL), which constitutes Appendix B of the 
National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 
and requests comments on the proposed deletion. The EPA identifies 
sites that appear to present a significant risk to public health, 
welfare or the environment, and maintains the NPL as the list of those 
sites. Sites on the NPL may be the subject of remedial actions financed 
by the Potentially Responsible Parties or the Hazardous Substance 
Superfund Response Trust Fund (Fund). Pursuant to section 300.425(e)(3) 
of the NCP, any site deleted from the NPL remains eligible for Fund-
financed remedial actions if the conditions at the Site warrant such 
    The U.S. EPA will accept comments on this proposal for thirty (30) 
days after publication of this document in the Federal Register.
    Section II of this document explains the criteria for deleting 
sites from the NPL. Section III discusses procedures that EPA is using 
for this action. Section IV discusses the history of this site and 
explains how the Site meets the deletion criteria.
    Deletion of sites from the NPL does not itself create, alter, or 
revoke any individual's rights or obligations. Furthermore, deletion 
from the NPL does not in any way alter U.S. EPA's right to take 
enforcement actions, as appropriate. The NPL is designed primarily for 
informational purposes and to assist in Agency management.

II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    The NCP establishes the criteria that the Agency uses to delete 
sites from the NPL. In accordance with 40 CFR 300.425(e), sites may be 
deleted from the NPL where no further response is appropriate. In 
making this determination, U.S. EPA will consider, in consultation with 
the State, whether any of the following criteria have been met:
    (i) Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all 
appropriate response actions required; or
    (ii) All appropriate Fund-financed responses under CERCLA have been 
implemented, and no further response action by responsible parties is 
appropriate; or
    (iii) The Remedial investigation has shown that the release poses 
no significant threat to public health or the environment and, 
therefore, remedial measures are not appropriate.

III. Deletion Procedures

    Upon determination that at least one of the criteria described in 
300.425(e) has been met, U.S. EPA may formally begin deletion 
procedures once the State has concurred. This Federal Register notice, 
and a concurrent notice in the local newspaper in the vicinity of the 
Site, announce the initiation of a 30-day comment period. The public is 
asked to comment on U.S. EPA's intention to delete the Site from the 
NPL. All critical documents needed to evaluate U.S. EPA's decision are 
included in the information repository and the deletion docket.
    Upon completion of the public comment period, if necessary, the 
U.S. EPA Regional Office will prepare a Responsiveness Summary to 
evaluate and address comments that were received. The public is welcome 
to contact the U.S. EPA Region V Office to obtain a copy of this 
responsiveness summary, if one is prepared. If U.S. EPA then determines 
the deletion from the NPL is appropriate, final notice of deletion will 
be published in the Federal Register.

IV. Basis for Intended Site Deletion

    The Berlin and Farro facility is a 40-acre site situated in a 
primarily rural area approximately 3\1/2\ miles south of the town of 
Swartz Creek in Gaines Township, Genesee County, Michigan. The Site is 
located at 8322 South Morrish Road, Swartz Creek, Michigan. Primary 
land use in the area consists of agricultural row crops and small 
deciduous woodlands. Residences are located within about 500 feet of 
the northeast and southeast boundaries of the Site. Approximately 80 
permanent residences are located within a \1/2\ mile radius of the 
Site. There are no known endangered species or critical habitats within 
close proximity of the Site.

[[Page 3062]]

    Residents near the Site obtain groundwater from wells in glacial 
till aquifers and from the underlying bedrock. There are 115 
residential wells within one mile of the Site. Approximately \1/3\ of 
the residential wells draw water from the glacial till aquifers. At 
least one well in the area draws water from the shallow portion of the 
aquifer. The remaining residential wells draw water from the bedrock.
    Berlin and Farro Liquid Incineration, Inc. began operations at the 
site in April 1971. The facility was permitted to accept industrial 
waste for incineration, to store waste prior to incineration, and to 
operate an on-site 1.1 acre landfill for disposal of crushed used 
drums. Numerous violations of permit requirements were cited during the 
period of operation, until September 1975 when Berlin and Farro lost 
its operating incinerator permit for the incinerator. Permit violations 
included failure to comply with air emission standards and on-site 
storage volume limits, and failure to meet permit standards prohibiting 
on-site disposal of wastes other than solid wastes. The facility also 
operated two unauthorized waste storage lagoons and two unlined storage 
lagoons, illegally buried five tanks of waste water, buried liquid 
wastes, operated underground storage tanks, poured liquid wastes into 
subsurface agricultural drains and dumped large volumes of gallons of 
barreled waste into two pits. These permit violations and unpermitted 
activities led to the revocation of Berlin and Farro's incinerator and 
landfill permits on September 16, 1975. From 1975 until 1978, while the 
permit revocations were under appeal, Berlin and Farro was permitted by 
the State of Michigan (the State) to transport industrial waste for 
other generators, but not to transport wastes to its own site. Michigan 
Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) investigations indicated 
that illegal dumping of industrial wastes into the lagoons apparently 
continued after 1975. In 1978, Berlin and Farro's appeal of its permit 
revocation failed.
    Limited cleanup activities were conducted by Berlin and Farro under 
a plan submitted to MDEQ from 1978 until 1980, when Berlin and Farro 
filed for chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
    In 1978 and 1981, ownership of the property was transferred to the 
State for nonpayment of property taxes. Ten acres of the site remained 
under the jurisdiction of the Genesee County Circuit Court as a result 
of a lawsuit filed by the State. The site was proposal for the National 
Priorities List (NPL) on July 16, 1992 and was placed on the NPL on 
September 8, 1983.
    U.S. EPA identified more than 125 generators through review of site 
records. U.S. EPA, the State, and certain settling PRPs undertook 
surface cleanup actions intermittently from December 1981 through 
October 1984.
    A Remedial Investigation (RI) was conducted from March 1986 through 
January 1989. A Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) Report 
and a Proposed Plan were released to the public on July 20, 1990. A 
fact sheet summarizing this Proposed Plan and remedial alternatives 
were released to the public on August 2, 1990. The notice of 
availability for the RI/FS Report and the Proposed Plan was published 
in the Flint Journal on July 20, 1990. A sixty-day public comment 
period was held from July 20, 1990 through September 19, 1990. On 
September 7, 1990, U.S. EPA sent a letter to all persons on the site 
mailing list informing them about a change in its preference among the 
various alternatives under consideration, subject to review of public 
    At the start of the 1990 public comment period, U.S. EPA proposed a 
remedial alternative which addressed both groundwater and soil 
contamination at the Berlin and Farro Liquid Incineration Site, Swartz 
Creek, Michigan. The alternative, as specified in the proposed plan, 
called for on-site incineration of contaminated soils and for the 
extraction of contaminated groundwater with treatment via air 
stripping. On-site incineration was projected to last for approximately 
1 year and extraction and treatment of the groundwater was projected to 
last for at least 30 years. In addition, the Berlin and Farro proposed 
planned required groundwater monitoring and long-term maintenance of 
the air stripper.
    Initial written comments received by the U.S. EPA and those voiced 
at the August 9, 1990 public meeting in Swartz Creek indicated that 
most concerned members of the public were strongly opposed to on-site 
    The strong opposition to the proposed plan expressed early in the 
comment period, especially those comments offered at the public 
meeting, led the U.S. EPA and the MDEQ to alter the preferred soil 
cleanup plan. This opposition was based on the short term risk 
presented by the estimated 380 days of operation of the on-site 
incinerator. In addition, information was provided indicating that much 
of the volume of soil proposed to be remediated was to be treated based 
only on metal, contamination. Incineration is not generally considered 
an effective treatment for metals, and in fact may produce treatment 
residuals that could require significant additional treatment. The new 
plan called for the removal of excavated soils to a licensed off-site 
facility for treatment and disposal. This plan retained the use of an 
air stripper for treatment of contaminated groundwater.
    A second public meeting was held on September 12, 1990. At this 
meeting representatives from U.S. EPA and MDEQ discussed the changes 
that the Agencies were considering based on public comments. During 
this 1990 public comment period U.S. EPA continued negotiations with 
PRPs regarding cleanup options at Berlin and Farro as required under 
the terms of the RI/FS Consent Decree (Decree). U.S. EPA made it clear 
that at the end of the public comment period, following response to all 
comments, the terms of the Decree would be met and it intended to sign 
a ROD as early as the last week of September 1990. PRPs filed for and 
were granted an order which enjoined the U.S. EPA from issuing a ROD as 
planned. The Court ruled on September 27, 1990 that terms of the Decree 
would not be fulfilled and a ROD could not be issued, until an 
additional sixty-day period of negotiations had been held.
    U.S. EPA and MDEQ determined, based on information developed and 
clarified during these extended negotiations that remedial action to 
address soil contamination other than the previously proposed options 
is most appropriate for Berlin and Farro.
    A Proposed Plan for this remedial alternative was released July 11, 
1991. The notice of availability for the Proposed Plan was published in 
the Flint Journal on July 8, 1991. A sixty-day public comment period 
was held from July 11, 1991 through September 9, 1991. In addition, a 
public meeting was held on August 8, 1991. At this meeting, 
representatives of the U.S. EPA and MDEQ answered questions about 
problems at the site and the remedial alternatives under consideration 
and accepted formal comments from the Public regarding the proposed 
alternative and other alternatives analyzed in the FS.
    On September 30, 1991, U.S. EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) 
for the final remedy at the Site. The ROD required: (1) excavation of 
on-site soil and sediment and sediments from Slocum Drain where levels 
of contamination exceed ROD cleanup standards; (2) disposal of these 
materials in an on-site hazardous waste disposal cell; and (3) 
extraction and treatment by air stripping of ground water with

[[Page 3063]]

contaminant levels above the ROD cleanup standards. Following 
completion of these elements of the cleanup, permanent deed and land 
use restrictions were to be implemented to control land use, to 
restrict development of the Site and to prohibit installation of ground 
water wells.
    U.S. EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to PRPs 
September 24, 1993. During an October 28, 1994 meeting attended by 
representatives of U.S. EPA, MDEQ and the PRP technical committee and 
by follow-up letter dated December 2, 1994 responsible party 
representatives requested U.S. EPA and MDEQ to consider an alternate 
cleanup option for remediation of contaminated soil and sediment and 
contaminated groundwater. In addition, the Predesign Report submitted 
in March 1995 included a contingency proposal for modification of the 
groundwater remedy, if necessary, following assessment of monitoring 
    Following public review of and comment upon the proposed changes to 
remedial action at the Site, the ROD was amended on October 24, 1995. 
The amended ROD specified a revised Remedial Action (RA) for the Site 
soils/sediments and groundwater based on the RI and predesign data and 
reevaluation of the cleanup standards for soil and groundwater.
    An Amended ROD was signed on October 24, 1995. The major components 
of this remedy include:
    <bullet> Excavation of contaminated soil and sediment from the 
central site area and Slocum Drain and transportation to an off-site 
facility for appropriate treatment/disposal.
    <bullet> Excavation of the water-bearing zones in the area of 
highest groundwater contamination and off-site disposal of the 
excavated materials.
    <bullet> Implementation of a groundwater monitoring program and 
implementation of site deed restrictions on the installation of 
drinking water wells until all cleanup standards have been met and 
    Activities at the Site were consistent with the amended ROD and the 
RD/RA statement of work for design and construction. The RD Report, 
including a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP), incorporated all 
necessary U.S. EPA and State quality assurance and quality control (QA/
QC) procedures and protocol. U.S. EPA analytical methods were used for 
all validation and monitoring samples during RA activities. All 
procedures and protocol followed for soil, groundwater, and air sample 
during the RA are documented in the RD Report and were conducted 
through a participating Contract Laboratory Program (CLP) in accordance 
with the statement of work.
    A Close Out Report was signed on September 18, 1996, which stated 
that the Site meets all site completion requirements as specified in 
OSWER Directive 9320.2-3c, Procedures for Completion and Deletion of 
National Priorities Sites and Update. Specifically, confirmatory 
sampling verifies that the Site has achieved the ROD cleanup objective, 
that all soil, sediment, and groundwater cleanup standards have been 
met and that all cleanup actions specified in the amended ROD have been 
implemented. Furthermore, U.SS. EPA has removed all other contamination 
detected to acceptable levels. Confirmatory groundwater sampling and 
backfilling and grading the Site with unaffected Site soils provide 
further assurance that the Site no longer poses unacceptable threats to 
human health or the environment. No further activity is planned at the 
    A five-year review pursuant to OSWER Directive 9355.7-02 
(``Structure and Components of Five-Year Reviews'') will not be 
conducted at the Site. There are no hazardous Substances that remain at 
the Site above health-based levels, U.S. EPA will not conduct a five-
year review.
    EPA, with concurrence from the State of Michigan, has determined 
that responsible parties have implemented all appropriate responses 
under CERCLA at the Berlin and Farro Liquid Incineration Site, and no 
further CERCLA response actions are appropriate in order to provide 
protection of human health and environment. Therefore, EPA proposes to 
delete the Site from the NPL.

    Dated: December 9, 1997.
David A. Ullrich,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region V.
[FR Doc. 98-1249 Filed 1-20-98; 8:45 am]

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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