RACER 12950 Eckles Rd, Livonia, Wayne County

Updated: September 15, 2020

EGLE Site Lead:
Jacob Runge
RungeJ@Michigan.gov
517-242-8496

Aerial view of RACER 12950 Eckles Road, Livonia, Wayne CountyBackground

Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust, also known as RACER Trust or just RACER, was created in March 2011 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corporation before its 2009 bankruptcy. The RACER Trust is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States and is the largest environmental response and remediation trust in United States history.

The RACER Eckles Road site is located at 12950 Eckles Road in Livonia. The site is a former General Motors Delphi Chassis Spring and Bumper Plant and is a United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) lead site. The plant was constructed in 1953 to 1954 and historically manufactured coil springs and bumpers. Plating operations were conducted at the southwest corner of the site. Fire training activities were conducted at the southeast corner of the site.

The plant was decommissioned and demolished in 2000-2001.  Little to no information is known about the historic use of PFAS-containing materials. Groundwater contaminated with other chemicals has historically been collected in a French drain and treated on-site before discharging to the sanitary sewer system. In 2004, the former plating area was surrounded by a barrier wall to help contain the spread of other contaminants. 

Remedial activities conducted in 2015-2017 have significantly reduced concentrations of other contaminants within the barrier wall. Groundwater contaminated with PFAS is primarily contained within the barrier wall.

The nearest lake is Newburgh Lake, and the nearest river is the Rogue River.

Recent Accomplishments

  • On May 18, 2020, the on-site groundwater treatment system was restarted. Earlier in May, a granular activated carbon PFAS treatment system was installed under the guidance of Great Lakes Water Authority. The system is operated on an as-needed basis, and was turned back off on June 12, 2020.
  • On May 21, 2020, GHD collected groundwater samples from select temporary monitoring wells to evaluate conditions in the northern portions of the PFAS-affected area. USEPA and EGLE are awaiting results from these samples.

Next Steps

  • Potential remedial alternatives to address PFAS-impacted groundwater continue to be evaluated. Currently discussions and evaluations with a developer are in progress with respect to incorporating corrective measures with site redevelopment. Additional activities to characterize the extent of PFAS-impacted groundwater are ongoing – the May sampling event is the latest of these.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Not applicable; all nearby properties are supplied with municipal water from the Great Lakes Water Authority.
  • The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has sampled all municipal water supplies for PFAS. The city of Livonia purchases water from the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA). View the results for GLWA.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling notes

  • On August 3, 2020, new Part 201 Criteria went into effect.  Historical sampling data compared to Part 201 Criteria >70 is captured in the historical timeline below.
  • Other PFAS analytes were found in groundwater samples. There are no standards for these analytes.
  • The USEPA is the lead agency for this site.

Historical Timeline

  • Between January 2017 - August 2018, RACER collected groundwater samples from existing monitoring wells on-site to analyze for PFAS.
  • In late July 2018, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) received some of the groundwater results from RACER. Results confirmed groundwater contamination over 70 ppt PFOA+PFOS in some samples.
  • In November 2018, RACER discussed PFAS detections in discharge from the site with the Great Lakes Water Authority (the service providing municipal water to the surrounding area). The effluent from the groundwater treatment system was over the Rule 57 water quality value of 12 ppt PFOS. The highest value was 96 ppt PFOS in the effluent. This led to the development of preliminary treatment options with engineering consultants.
  • On December 18, 2018, the USEPA approved the cease-operations for groundwater pumping and the basis behind the cessation of pumping. The cessation of pumping will not cause the plume to leave the facility, the existing slurry wall barrier will prevent off-site flow. The pumping will be discontinued through June 30, 2019, unless a condition is observed that would merit pumping be restarted.
  • On June 19 – 21, 2019, contractor GHD installed six shallow monitoring wells as part of PFAS Characterization activities, including collection of soil samples for analysis of PFAS. Split samples were sent to USEPA for the analysis of PFAS.
  • On June 19-21, 2019, EPA contractor, GHD installed six new shallow monitoring wells to supplement existing wells. These, along with eight others, were sampled July 2019. A report was prepared with the results, in an effort to delineate horizontal and vertical extents of PFAS-impacted groundwater within the southwest corner of the property. Conclusions on how it may impact the proposed installation of a permeable reactive gate are forthcoming.
  • On June 27, 2019 RACER submitted a Quality Assurance Project Plan for RCRA Corrective Action Operations, Maintenance and Monitoring (OMM) Plan activities to USEPA for review pursuant to a request from USEPA.
  • October 1, 2019, EGLE received the laboratory treatability study for PFAS contaminated groundwater results, completed by RACER’s contractor GHD. Results from the study demonstrate that passive technologies are effective at removing PFAS below Groundwater/Surface water Interface criteria (12ppt). A secondary conclusion realized from the study is, based on ratios of soil to groundwater that are present in the field, a mitigation system will have a lifespan of 20 years or more.
  • On December 30, 2019, EGLE received the proposed conceptual remedy plan (from RACER consultant GHD) to manage groundwater impacted by PFAS and residual chromium and nickel in the southwest area of the property. The proposed long-term remedy includes the installation of a cap over the area to eliminate infiltration of the precipitation and eliminate the need to extract groundwater from the existing French drain in the area. Also included is a leak-tight storm sewer system to direct precipitation and runoff, as to eliminate subsurface infiltration.
  • Historical Sampling Chart: data is reflective of criteria prior to 8/3/2020:
    PFOS + PFOA Only
    This chart reflects data received prior to 8/3/2020.

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled

    # of Samples

    # of Results Received

    # of Non-detects

    # Between Non-detect and standard*

    > Standard

    Groundwater

    Through Aug 1, 2019 59 59 2 40 17

    Cumulative

      59 59 2 40 17

    *Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.