St. Joseph County, Mendon, Lear Siegler Inc.

Updated: January 13, 2020

636 40th Street East MapBackground

This automotive accessory manufacturer is located at 236 West Clark Street in Mendon. Plastic molding began at this facility in 1932 and operations were expanded to include plastic plating, trim and fabric preparation, and parts assembly, when Lear Siegler acquired the site in 1970.  Industrial wastes were historically disposed on site.  Lear operations were purchased by International Automotive Components (IAC) in 2007 and they have been conducting response activities for contaminants other than PFAS at the site.  IAC submitted a No Further Action request to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in January 2018.  IAC Mendon has not used PFAS during its operations.  EGLE requested IAC sample for PFAS based on the history of the site that included a plating line until 1985.  Testing by IAC confirmed PFAS in the on-site and off-site groundwater in 2019.

Recent Accomplishments

  • On January 3, 2020, EGLE contractors sampled 10 additional residential water supply wells and samples were submitted to the EGLE Laboratory for analyses.  Results received on January 11, 2020.

Next Steps

  • Based on the results obtained, IAC will discuss future sampling and a water supply replacement with EGLE and local health agencies in January 2020.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Most area residents utilize municipal water.  According to local records, there are approximately 12 private residential wells still being used in Mendon.
  • Three municipal water supply wells are about 1,000 feet southeast and southwest downgradient of the site. The Mendon municipal water supply was sampled in October 2018, and was Non-Detect for PFOS+PFOA and Non-Detect for Total Tested PFAS.
  • EGLE has tested all municipal water supplies for PFAS. Results for the village of Mendon are posted at:  http://Michigan.gov/PFASResponse 

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • Public meeting anticipated in winter 2020
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Drinking Water(residential wells) Dec 2019- present 12 12 8 4 0

Groundwater

Oct 2018-present 12 12 0 3 9

Cumulative

  24 24 8 7 9

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

*Residential well results are compared to the EPA LHA of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.


Sampling notes

  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.

Lear Siegler Inc. Historical Timeline

This automotive accessory manufacturer is located at 236 West Clark Street in Mendon. Plastic molding began at this facility in 1932 and operations were expanded to include plastic plating, trim and fabric preparation, and parts assembly, when Lear Siegler acquired the site in 1970.  Industrial wastes were historically disposed on site.  Lear operations were purchased by International Automotive Components (IAC) in 2007 and they have been conducting response activities for contaminants other than PFAS at the site.  IAC submitted a No Further Action request to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in January 2018.  IAC Mendon has not used PFAS during its operations.  EGLE requested IAC sample for PFAS based on the history of the site that included a plating line until 1985.  Testing by IAC confirmed PFAS in the on-site and off-site groundwater in 2019.

Groundwater flow in the area is southerly.

  • On October 16, 2018, at the request of EGLE, IAC collected samples from six groundwater monitoring wells.
  • On April 24, 2019, IAC shared the October 2018 groundwater sampling results with EGLE. Four on-site monitoring wells detected PFAS above the standard, and the highest result was 1,312 ppt PFOS+PFOA and 1,334 ppt Total Tested PFAS.
  • On May 21, 2019, EGLE resampled the individual municipal water supply wells that are ¼ mile away from the site. A sample was also taken from the village water tank. This testing and prior testing in October 2018 found no PFAS compounds.
  • EGLE shared results from the May 21, 2019 sampling with municipal officials and they have been posted online.
  • On June 6, 2019, EGLE met with IAC Mendon to request they confirm the initial on-site groundwater results. EGLE also requested they sample additional on-site and downgradient off-site monitoring wells to help determine the extent of the contamination and whether it has migrated off-site.  In addition, EGLE requested a survey of the area be conducted for potential undocumented private water wells.
  • On August 5, 2019, IAC submitted a sampling plan for EGLE review.  On August 7, 2019 EGLE approved this plan.
  • On November 11, 2019, consultants for IAC submitted a report summarizing the August groundwater sampling.  This sampling confirmed PFOS/PFOA contamination in the groundwater at the facility.  Total PFOS/PFOA exceeding the drinking water criteria was detected in two downgradient, off-site monitor wells.  IAC and the Village of Mendon identified two residential water supply wells immediately downgradient of the identified contamination.
  • On November 15, EGLE requested IAC test the two residential water supply wells immediately downgradient of the site for PFOA/PFOS and IAC cannot do this expeditiously because of lack of legal access.  EGLE will attempt to obtain access and test these wells as soon as practical.
  • On December 2, 2019, EGLE contractors sampled two residential wells in Mendon.  EGLE was unable to contact several occupants to access their wells for testing.  Many of the dwellings with private wells currently sit vacant.
  • On December 6, 2019, IAC announced plans to discontinue manufacturing operations in Mendon in May 2020.
  • On December 12, 2019, IAC requested a meeting by telephone to discuss next steps in Mendon.  IAC plans to continue to define the extent of PFAS contamination.