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US Ecology Romulus (Romulus, Wayne County)

EGLE Site Lead: Nicole Sanabria, SanabriaN@Michigan.gov or 517-281-7726. Webpage last updated: July 6, 2022.

Background

US Ecology Romulus (USE ROM), located at 36345 Van Born Road is a hazardous waste facility licensed under Part 111, Hazardous Waste Management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. This site has had several different owners since its operations began in 1964, mainly including solvent recovery operations. Corrective action has been ongoing since 1980 to address historic contamination. Corrective measures have included an asphalt barrier wall and a clay barrier wall that reduce groundwater contamination from moving offsite and a groundwater collection system that treats groundwater before discharging to Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) for further treatment. As part of USE ROM's license, the facility is required to use the groundwater collection system to keep groundwater and contamination from flowing off-site on the eastern part of the property. EGLE requested sampling for PFAS in 2018 because a fire occurred at the facility in 2005, and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) was believed to have been used. The highest PFOS + PFOA groundwater sample collected from the site was 119 ppt.

Groundwater flows east toward the Trouton Drain located immediately east of the site. The area is mainly industrial, with some residential areas to the south and east of the facility. There are no known downgradient drinking water wells in the area.

US Ecology Romulus Groundwater Map 

Recent Accomplishments

  • In December 2020, USE ROM completed construction to improve the groundwater collection system.
  • There are no recent accomplishments at this time.

Next Steps

  • Monitoring will continue to occur monthly to ensure groundwater is not moving offsite. This is required by the facility’s license. Monitoring data to date indicates that the groundwater collection system is functioning as designed and is successfully keeping groundwater contained on-site.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • None at this time. There are no known downgradient drinking water wells in the area.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Notes

  • Three samples were collected in the Trouton Drain to the east of the site. Two upstream and one downstream samples were collected; both upstream samples were higher than the downstream, possibly suggesting another contributing source. 

Historical Timeline

    • On November 29, 2018, EGLE requested a workplan for PFAS sampling at the facility.
    • On February 5, 2019, USE ROM submitted a workplan to complete PFAS sampling. EGLE approved the workplan shortly after.
    • On April 15, 2019, USE ROM completed PFAS sampling of one monitoring well onsite and two surface water samples of the nearby Trouton Drain. EGLE was present to collect split samples of the monitoring well.
    • On May 6, 2019, EGLE received the results from their split sample. PFOA + PFOS was 119 ppt.
    • On July 10, 2019, EGLE received the sampling data and report from the USE ROM samples. PFOA + PFOS was above 70 ppt, but the lab data contained significant quality control issues due to suspected cross contamination. As a result, EGLE requested USE ROM to collect a second round of samples to confirm the results.
    • On October 21, 2019, EGLE requested a workplan to improve the groundwater collection system onsite to ensure PFAS contamination cannot move offsite and will be collected and treated before being discharged to the GLWA.
    • On October 30, 2019, EGLE received the sampling data and report from the confirmation sampling event. PFOA + PFOS was 58 ppt.
    • On August 25, 2020, EGLE received a workplan to improve the groundwater collection system onsite.

    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

    Number of Samples

    Number of Results Received

    Number of Non-detects

    Number Between Non-detect and standard*

    Number of > Standard

    Groundwater

    April – July 2020

    2

    2

    0

    1

    1

    Surface Water

    July 2020

    3

    3

    0

    0

    3

    Cumulative

     

    5

    5

    0

    1

    4

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

    * Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.

     

    Related Sampling Notes:

    • Three samples were collected in the Trouton Drain to the east of the site. Two upstream and one downstream samples were collected; both upstream samples were higher than the downstream, possibly suggesting another contributing source.