Kent County, Belmont, Northeast Gravel

Updated: June 10, 2020

Background

Northeast Gravel Company operated a licensed landfill on 20 acres located at 3769 Cannonsburg Road, formerly known as 4300 Cannonsburg Road, from 1966 through 1979. During that time, the Facility contained three unique disposal areas, including Wolverine World Wide (WWW) tannery waste area, a domestic refuse area, and a plating waste area. The Grand River is directly south of this site and groundwater flows to the south-southwest. In 1998,

Northeast Gravel Company and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), entered into a voluntary agreement for a Limited Residential Based Remedy to address environmental contamination identified at the Facility, under Michigan’s environmental cleanup law, Part 201.  However, in 1998, PFAS was not a known contaminant of concern and no sampling of PFAS had been completed.  The area containing the former waste cells was subsequently developed into what is now the Boulder Creek Golf Course.

It was brought to EGLE’s attention in 2017 that WWW used PFAS in their tanning operations.  Since this property was a known location where WWW tannery waste was disposed of, along with plating wastes, EGLE began to collect PFAS samples from nearby drinking water wells and irrigation wells in the fall of 2017.

EGLE requested Northeast Gravel Company (now Boulder Creek Development Company, LLC (BCDC) to conduct additional investigation and response actions; once EGLE was provided with the report summarizing these actions, it was determined this property should be reported as its own MPART site.  BCDC also sampled drinking water wells surrounding the golf course greens north of 7 Mile Road at the request of EGLE based on BCDC’s use of PFAS contaminated irrigation water north of 7 Mile Road.

Investigation Maps

Northeast Gravel PFAS Sampling Locations MapNortheast Gravel Res Well Sampling Results Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • To date, a total of 17 homes located in the initial residential well sampling effort surrounding the golf course greens north of 7 Mile Road have been sampled. All of the sample results are below 70 ppt for PFOA & PFOS, and below the proposed maximum contaminant levels.  All sample results are reflected on the sampling chart.
  • A total of 18 homes located directly adjacent to the golf course greens north of 7 Mile Road were presumptively offered point-of-use filters (instead of being sampled), based on previous independent sampling completed by homeowners, which identified the presence of PFAS in shallow well groundwater. 

Next Steps

  • BCDC is working on a summary report which details the response and investigation activities BCDC has completed since August 2019. That report is anticipated to be submitted to EGLE this summer 2020 and will be posted on this webpage once received. 
  • BCDC will continue implementing the response and investigation activities as outlined in August 29, 2019 Response Activity Plan for PFAS (Posted below in the Documents section).  
  • EGLE will continue to oversee the response actions taken by the responsible party under Part 201 and continue to meet with them to get updates on the work being performed. Additional response actions are needed by the responsible party to determine the full extent of PFAS contamination and address the PFAS contamination migrating off the property.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • 4 drinking water wells have been tested by EGLE.
  • 17 drinking water wells have been tested by BCDC.
  • 11 residents have had point-of-use filters installed by BCDC.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None at this time.
Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# of Results Received

# of Non-detects

# Between Non-detect and standard*

# > Standard

Groundwater 

Oct 2017 - Feb 2019 14 14 2 4 8
Surface Water May 2018 - Feb 2019 10 10 1 1 8
Residential Wells Oct 2017 - Feb 2019 21 21 16 5 0

Cumulative

  45 45 19 10 16

 

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Surface water and effluent results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA. 
*Residential well results are compared to the USEPA LHA of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA. 

Sampling Notes

  • Based on the surface water testing results, a “Do Not Eat” fish advisory was issued for the ponds at the Boulder Creek Development / Golf Course. Signs have been installed stating “Catch and Release Fishing Only.” These ponds are privately owned by BCDC.
  • Other PFAS analytes were detected in samples. There are no federal or state standards for these analytes.
  • EGLE has also collected:
    • 4 irrigation well samples; these samples ranged from Non-Detect to 2,491 ppt PFOS+PFOA and 3,475 ppt Total Tested PFAS.
    • 6 waste samples: the tannery waste’s highest result was 42,370,000 ppt PFOS+PFOA and 65,265,000 ppt Total Tested PFAS; the plating waste’s highest result was 1,002,000 ppt PFOS+PFOA and 1,066,000 ppt Total Tested PFAS. 

Documents

Date of Document

Name of Document

October 29, 2019 Letter from EGLE Hendershott to BCD Berg re Response Activity Plan for PFAS at Northeast Gravel Company Site
September 19, 2019 Letter from EGLE Hendershott to BCD Berg re: Residential Well Sampling, Northeast Gravel Company Site
August 29, 2019 Northeast Gravel Company Response Activitiy Plan for PFAS
July 24, 2019 Letter from EGLE Hendershott to BCD Berg re: Violation Notice and Demand Regarding the Releases at Northeast Gravel Company Site
June 18, 2018 Letter from DEQ Hendershott to BCD Berg re: Compliance Communication Regarding the Release at Northeast Gravel Company
February 21, 2018 Letter from DEQ Hendershott to Dykema Excavators, Inc. re: Compliance Communication - Request for Investigation of PFAS Contamination at Northeast Gravel Company

 

Historical Timeline

  • In October 2017, EGLE sampled four residential drinking water wells and two irrigation wells south of the Property along Cannonsburg Road.  PFOA and PFOS were detected in select wells, but at levels below 70 ppt. The highest total tested PFAS concentration was 277 ppt.  
  • In February 2018, EGLE sampled three existing monitoring wells on the south side of Cannonsburg road, in a down-gradient location to the landfill disposal cells.  Results showed PFOA and PFOS at concentrations above 70 ppt, and total tested PFAS concentrations of over 450 ppt.  
  • On February 21, 2018, EGLE sent a compliance communication letter to Northeast Gravel Company (now Boulder Creek Development Company LLC (BCDC)) requesting additional PFAS investigation and response actions to be completed at the site.
  • In April 2018, EGLE met with BCDC to discuss sample results that EGLE collected in October 2017 and February 2018.  
  • In May 2018 and June 2018, EGLE sampled two additional irrigation wells located on the Boulder Creek Golf Course and collected three surface water samples from the ponds located south of the former landfill disposal cells.
  • On June 19, 2018, EGLE sent a second compliance communication letter to BCDC requesting additional investigation and response actions to be completed at the site.
  • On June 29, 2018, based on the pond surface water testing results, a “Do Not Eat” fish advisory was issued for the ponds at the Boulder Creek Development / Golf Course. Signs have been installed stating “Catch and Release Fishing Only.” These ponds are privately owned by Boulder Creek. Three ponds had been sampled and their results were:
    • 858 ppt PFOS
    • 1,830 ppt PFOS
    • 2,760 ppt PFOS
    • All samples had other PFAS present; however, it is PFOS that drives fish advisories.
  • In July 2018, EGLE and Kent County Health Department met with representatives of BCDC to discuss EGLE’s PFAS sampling results to date at the site, and BCDC’s obligations regarding additional response actions under Part 201.
  • In August 2018, BCDC sampled two existing monitoring wells at the property (results provided to EGLE in May 2019).
  • On September 12, 2018, BCDC submitted their PFAS Investigation Work Plan to EGLE, which was requested by EGLE in the June 19, 2018, compliance communication letter.
  • In September 2018, BCDC and their consultant held a community outreach meeting with the local condominium associations at the property.
  • In January and February 2019, BCDC installed and sampled three soil borings in the WWW tannery waste cell, three soil borings in the plating waste cell, two monitoring wells, four piezometers.  BCDC also collected 7 surface water samples, gauged surface water flow at six locations across the site and resampled three drinking water wells to the east of the site.  Results were provided to EGLE in May 2019.      
  • On May 23, 2019, BCDC submitted a Project Update PFAS Investigation Report to EGLE which summarized the results from the August 2018, and January and February 2019 investigation activities. 
  • On June 10, 2019, EGLE and Kent County Health Department met with representatives of BCDC and their consultant to discuss the findings of the May 2019 PFAS Investigation Report and anticipated next steps at the property. ‚Äč
  • On July 24, 2019 EGLE sent BCDC a Violation and Demand Letter regarding their Part 201 obligations and requested additional response activities.
  • On August 20, 2019, EGLE sent Wolverine World Wide (Wolverine) a “Compliance Communication Letter Regarding Releases at the Northeast Gravel Company Site” which summarized Wolverine’s liability under Part 201.
  • On August 21, 2019, EGLE and Kent County Health Department met with Boulder Creek to discuss their planned response activities and obligations at the site. 
  • On August 30, 2019, BCDC submitted a “Response Activity Plan for PFAS” to EGLE for review.
  • On September 19, 2019, EGLE sent BCDC a letter in response to the drinking water well sampling portion of the August 29, 2019 “Response Activity Plan for PFAS”. 
  • On October 24, 2019, BCDC’s environmental consultant mailed out 27 letters to homes who are included in the initial residential well sampling effort surrounding the golf course greens north of 7 Mile Road.  
  • On October 29, 2019, EGLE sent BCDC a letter in response to the “Response Activity Plan for PFAS”. The letter served as EGLE’s approval of the proposed work (minus Section 4.3 which was discussed in the September 19, 2019 letter).
  • On December 5, 2019, EGLE hosted a community meeting for residents located within the PFAS investigation area surrounding the golf course greens north of 7 Mile Road, at Plainfield Township Hall. Local and State Health Departments also were present at the meeting. 
  • On February 27, 2020, EGLE and Kent County Health Department met with Boulder Creek to discuss their planned response activities for 2020 and ongoing obligations at the site.