MDEQ to oversee sampling of Allen Creek storm drain as part of Gelman investigation

For Immediate Release
February 7, 2019

Contact:
DEQ Media Office, deq-assist@michigan.gov, 517-284-9278
Gerald Tiernan, MDEQ District Supervisor, tiernang@michigan.gov, 517-582-0520

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced today that it will oversee the sampling of portions of the Allen Creek storm drain sewer system to further assess local water quality and determine if Allen Creek is being impacted by contamination associated with past operations at Gelman Sciences in Ann Arbor.

Seven locations along the Allen Creek storm drain sewer system will be sampled between February and July 2019 in collaboration with the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner, the city of Ann Arbor and Gelman Sciences. The sampling effort will help evaluate whether contaminated groundwater from the Gelman Site is making its way into the storm drain sewer system.

MDEQ Jackson District Supervisor Gerald Tiernan said that the sampling program follows work Gelman performed in late 2016 at the request of the MDEQ.

“With the potential for multiple sources of contamination within the sampling area in addition to the Gelman plume, we hope to identify whether the Gelman plume is a significant contributor to the degraded water quality historically observed in Allen Creek,” Tiernan said.

Today’s announcement follows earlier sampling results that in 2018 identified Allen Creek as an area of interest (https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/11686/Press-Release112018-14-DioxaneResults).  At the request of MDEQ, Gelman has voluntarily agreed to complete this new sampling program.

The sampling program will be conducted following a work plan prepared by the MDEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Division (RRD) Jackson District office. The investigation will include sampling of the Allen Creek Drain storm drain sewer system at seven accessible locations summarized below:

  • West Park
  • Chapin Street
  • Maple Ridge - Arborview Blvd.
  • Wildwood Ave. - Arborview Blvd.
  • Murray Ave. - W. Washington St.
  • Eighth St. - Waterworks Park
  • Maryfield Wildwood Park

Sampling parameters will include analysis for 1,4 Dioxane and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). At the conclusion of the sampling activities an investigation summary report will be prepared and made available for the public.

The MDEQ maintains a webpage about the Gelman Site entitled “Gelman Sciences, Inc. Site of Contamination Information Page.” General and technical information including information bulletins, fact sheets, reports and technical documents, legal documents, and sampling data related to the Gelman Site are posted and can be viewed by the general public.

Washtenaw County residents with additional questions about the Allen Creek storm drain sewer system investigation or the information on the webpage can be directed to Dan Hamel, MDEQ Gelman Site Project Manager, at 517-745-6595 or hameld@michigan.gov.

# # #