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E-M:/ Doing Less Cleanup at Bofors Site in Muskegon

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

EPA is holding a meeting on June 24 to propose less cleanup
than previously planned for the Bofors-Lakeway Chemical site
just East of Muskegon.....cutting back the cleanup by a factor of 3 to 5
in total costs....

EPA and MDEQ are basically letting the responsible parties dictate what
the level of cleanup will be by allowing them to lower the price tag and 
the scope of work required......  so it goes with the post "how clean is clean"
"cover it up and leave it" approach to 90's environmental remediation
programs....   it makes for more Engler/Clinton press releases saying sites
are "cleaned"
when all that is being done is to leave contamination where it is.

I still remember the arrogant guy in the 70s  who used to run this place
before it
was taken over by Bofors.....the guy's name was Norman Phaneuf
and he was the plant manager who let this site get to be the polluter mess
that it is 
now.    MDNR and former members of the Water Resources Commission were 
also culpable for this mess, who let is go on and on, and allowed this company
to continue installing new chemical processes.

Phaneuf ran a whole campaign of political pressure against MDNR Air 
Division to resist installing state-of-the-art air pollution controls on a
dichlorobenzidene (DCB)
pack out process.   DCB is a potent  carcinogen and cause for bladder cancer of 
former workers at this plant.


US EPA News Release


Technical Contact: John Fagiolo
(312) 886-0800

Media Contact: Eileen Deamer
(312) 886-1728

For Immediate Release: June 17, 1998

No. 98-OPA177


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 will hold a public
meeting on June 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at
Egleston Township Hall, (5382 East Apple Ave., Muskegon, MI) to discuss
proposed changes to the cleanup plan
for the Bofors Nobel Superfund site in Muskegon County. 

A 30-day public comment period on the changes ends July 16. EPA will accept
comments at the meeting.

The current cleanup plan was agreed to in 1992.  EPA and the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality are
considering changes to that plan because of new information about cleanup
technologies and the willingness of
the potentially responsible parties to make a long-term commitment to ensure
the effectiveness of the revised plan. 

Proposed changes include installing a barrier wall to contain soil
contamination; installing a cover to eliminate
exposure to contaminated soils and sludge; planting trees and other
vegetation to hold soil in place and enhance
the natural breakdown of contaminants; preventing uncontrolled discharges of
contaminated ground water into Big
Black Creek; treating and discharging of collected and extracted ground
water; monitoring ground water to assess
the effectiveness of the barrier wall and collection and extraction system;
establishing controls, such as deed
restrictions, to preclude the construction and use of wells in areas where
contamination remains; establishing
long-term operation and maintenance of the cleanup methods; and establishing
actions to be taken if any elements
of the cleanup plan fail to meet and maintain performance standards.

The cost of the entire proposed cleanup -- including long-term operation and
maintenance -- is estimated between
$13 and $25 million.  The previous plan's estimated cost was between $40 and
$60 million for construction and
design work, potentially $85 million for the entire cleanup.

EPA is confident the new plan will provide a level of protection to human
health and the environment equivalent to
the previous plan. In addition, the new plan may also promote natural
breakdown of contaminants that might not
occur with the current remedy.

The site is on 85 acres about 6 miles east of downtown Muskegon.  It
includes a chemical production facility and
10 sludge lagoons that were used to store wastewater and sludge from the
production of alcohol-based
detergents, saccharin, pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals used in dyes.
Among the contaminants in the lagoons
are iron sludge, iron scale, dichlorobenzidine, zinc oxide, organic wastes,
detergent wastes, and calcium sulfate


Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.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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