Alpena Hide and Leather, Alpena, Alpena County

Updated: May 9, 2019

Manistee Plating Aerial MapBackground

This site is an active state-funded Part 201 site, acquired by EGLE 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, EGLE 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. EGLE has also removed some buried hides and contaminated soil from the former tannery site and will continue these efforts as needed.  

Recent Accomplishments

  • On April 2 – 5, 2019, EGLE performed the spring PFAS sampling event. Samples were collected from monitoring wells, storm water and surface water.
  • On April 5, 2019, EGLE collected a surface water foam sample from the Thunder Bay River.
  • On April 9 – 10, 2019, EGLE performed PFAS pilot sampling and grab groundwater sampling from 4 grab groundwater locations.
  • On April 22, 2019, EGLE performed additional storm water characterization.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will continue to conduct pilot test performance groundwater sampling on site. Performance sampling events took place in February and April 2019.
  • A report documenting the Q4 2018 sitewide groundwater and surface water sampling results will be finalized in May 2019.
  • Q2 2019 PFAS results to be validated pending receipt of remaining samples; Q2-2019 report expected July 2019.
  • EGLE will investigate surface water drainage on-site and off-site.
  • EGLE will investigate and sample foam on the Thunder Bay River.
  • Focused sampling of groundwater and surface water is scheduled for August 2019.
  • EGLE 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.
  • EGLE has sampled all municipal water supplies for PFAS. View the results for the city of Alpena.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • No upcoming community engagements.   
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 Apr 2019 160 152 23 62 67
Surface Water Apr 2019 44 44 34 10 0

Cumulative

  204 196 57 72 67

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Surface water results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.
Results are preliminary and subject to change pending data validation by an AMEC chemist.
Tabulated monitoring well totals include four grab groundwater samples (results pending).
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.
  • Two foam samples were collected from the Thunder Bay River in April 2019. Results ranged from 10.5 ppt – 1,060 ppt Total Tested PFAS. There has been a total of 6 foam samples collected from the Thunder Bay River.

Additional Information

Alpena Hide & Leather is an active state-funded Part 201 site, acquired by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) 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.

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.

Alpena Hide & Leather Historical Timeline

In August 2017, EGLE 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. EGLE also removed some buried hides and contaminated soil from the former tannery site and will continue these efforts as needed.

  • In the Fall of 2017, EGLE collected 27 groundwater monitoring well samples.
  • In April 2018, EGLE collected 20 groundwater monitoring well samples.
  • In June 2018, EGLE collected 13 groundwater monitoring well samples.
  • In 2017, EGLE 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, EGLE 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, EGLE collected 40 groundwater monitoring well samples and 10 surface water samples from the Thunder Bay River.
  • In November 2017, EGLE conducted a search to assure that no private drinking water wells are in use in the area.
  • In August 2018, EGLE 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, EGLE 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.
  • On February 4, 2019, EGLE received validated analytical results from the November and December groundwater and surface water sampling for review.
  • On February 19, 2019, a meeting with community stakeholders and local governmental agencies was conducted.
  • In April 2019, EGLE collected 30 groundwater monitoring well samples; 11 surface water samples from the Thunder Bay River, 14 storm water samples, and four foam samples.