Alpena Hide and Leather, Alpena, Alpena County

Updated: February 14, 2019

Manistee Plating Aerial MapBackground

This site is an active state-funded Part 201 site, acquired by the MDEQ on October 3, 2013. It was built in 1895 and is located on the north side of the Thunder Bay River; it closed in 1952. In August 2017, the MDEQ took groundwater and soil samples due to suspected contamination on site from chemicals used in the tanning process. PFAS was detected in both the groundwater and the soil samples. The MDEQ has also removed some buried hides and contaminated soil from the former tannery site and will continue these efforts as needed.  

Recent Accomplishments

  • On February 4, 2019, the MDEQ received validated analytical results from the November and December groundwater and surface water sampling for review.

Next Steps

  • The MDEQ will continue to conduct pilot test performance groundwater sampling on site. Performance sampling events are scheduled in February and April 2019.
  • A report documenting the November/December sitewide groundwater and surface water sampling results is being prepared.It will be finalized by April 2019.
  • The MDEQ will investigate surface water drainage on-site and off-site.
  • Site wide sampling of groundwater and surface water is scheduled for June 2019.
  • The MDEQ will follow up on resident calls and emails related to this site.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • There are no known impacts to drinking water.
  • The area surrounding the site is on municipal drinking water from the city of Alpena.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • A February 19, 2019 meeting with community stakeholders and local governmental agencies is scheduled.   
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Monitoring Wells Dec 21, 2018 130 130 19 51 60
Surface Water Nov 17, 2018 33 33 25 8 0

Cumulative

  163 163 44 59 60
             

*Groundwater results are compared to the MDEQ Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt.
*Surface water results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt (PFOS) and 12,000 ppt (PFOA).

Pilot test performance monitoring groundwater results are not included in the above totals.

Sampling notes

  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • Four foam samples were collected from the Thunder Bay River in April 2018. Results ranged from 4 ppt – 656 ppt Total Tested PFAS.

Alpena Hide & Leather Historical Timeline

Alpena Hide & Leather is an active state-funded Part 201 site, acquired by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on October 3, 2013. It was built in 1895 and is located on the north side of the Thunder Bay River. The location closed in 1952.

In August 2017, the MDEQ took groundwater and soil samples due to suspected contamination on site from chemicals used in the tanning process. PFAS was detected in both the groundwater and the soil samples. The MDEQ also removed some buried hides and contaminated soil from the former tannery site and will continue these efforts as needed.

The area is serviced by municipal drinking water. As analytical data comes back on soil and groundwater, additional investigations will be performed and, if needed, remedial actions identified. All testing results are mentioned in the timeline below are reported in the Sampling Table above.

  • In the Fall of 2017, the MDEQ collected 27 groundwater monitoring well samples.
  • In April 2018, the MDEQ collected 20 groundwater monitoring well samples.
  • In June 2018, the MDEQ collected 13 groundwater monitoring well samples.
  • In 2017, the MDEQ collected 14 surface water samples. All of the surface water results from the Thunder Bay River were below the Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.
  • In April and May 2018, the MDEQ collected additional surface water samples from the Thunder Bay River. Again, all the surface water results were below the Rule 57 surface water quality values.
  • In November 2018, the MDEQ collected 40 groundwater monitoring well samples and 10 surface water samples from the Thunder Bay River.
  • In November 2017, the MDEQ conducted a search to assure that no private drinking water wells are in use in the area.
  • In August 2018, the MDEQ conducted a bench study and treatability study to see if a carbon-based material could be added to the soil to reduce leaching. The results in both of the lab studies were very promising.
  • In December 2018, a work plan for an in-field pilot test for soil treatability was prepared and the pilot test was conducted.
  • On December 13, 2018, MDEQ finalized the PFAS Supplemental Investigation Report for April-July 2018, for PFAS soil, groundwater, surface water, and foam sampling.
  • On December 14, 2018, the in-field pilot test for soil treatability was completed.