Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | May 7, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says US EPA Region 5 is opening up the public comment period for Occidental Chemical cleanup in Michigan.

US EPA Region 5 invites the public to make comments on proposed cleanup strategies for contaminated ground water at the Occidental Chemical Corp. facility. A meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at Montague Township Hall, 8915 Whitbeck Road, Montague, Mich.

Under the proposed cleanup plan, EPA would oversee the installation of six new extraction wells on the southern portion of the former Occidental Chemical facility. The proposed extraction wells, working with a current well system in place at White Lake, should reduce ground water contamination to safe levels from Old Channel Trail to White Lake within 18 years.

State and federal environmental regulators have been overseeing cleanup work on the OCC property since 1979. Since that time, the first set of extraction wells have removed and treated billions of gallons of ground water and prevented the flow of contaminants into White Lake.

However, contamination remains trapped in subsurface soil on the northern portion of the site and those chemicals continue to seep into the ground water. No treatment technologies have been found that can remove this contamination trapped in sands below the water table.

The objectives of EPA’s proposed plan are to clean up ground water to better protect White Lake and allow for the eventual beneficial use of the ground water and unrestricted use of the OCC property and private property south of Old Channel Trail.

EPA will take formal oral or written comments on the proposed cleanup strategies at the May 13 meeting and will accept written public comments until the close of the comment period at midnight, May 15.

After consideration of public comments, EPA will select a final cleanup plan and discuss the selection in a document called “final decision and response to comments.” Public comments will be summarized and responses provided as part of the decision.

Written comments on the proposed cleanup can be sent to Ken Bardo, EPA Project Manager, Corrective Action Section, LU-9J, EPA Region 5, 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL. 60604-3590 or by e-mail at bardo.kenneth@epa.gov. Official documents are available for viewing at the Montague Branch Muskegon County Library, 8778 Ferry St., Montague, and at the White Lake Community Library, 3900 White Lake Drive, Whitehall.

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