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Rockwell International Corporation (Allegan, Allegan County)

EGLE Site Lead: Sarah Skinner, SkinnerS4@Michigan.gov or 517-388-9016. Webpage last updated on August 29, 2022

Background

Rockwell International is a federal Superfund site that was placed on the National Priorities List in 1987. Operations at the Old Rockwell site began in 1901 with the manufacture of glass and mirrors. In 1916, the facilities at the site were sold and, thereafter, began machining and assembly of automotive drive-line parts until 1992. Operations included steel heat treating, machining and parts assembly. After 1992, the buildings were leased for various purposes, ranging from tire recycling and composting businesses to a paint shop. Waste streams generated at the site contained cutting oils, lubricants, emulsifiers, oxidation inhibitors, cleaning compounds, treatment compounds, metal filings, metal, and cyanide salts. Three holding ponds and a soluble oil pond were located near the river. Several oil spills to the Kalamazoo River were documented. The site is being addressed by Meritor Inc. The Rockwell Former Manufacturing Building was declared hazardous, and the building was demolished in 2005. Much of the footers and floor slab remains. The former Drive Line Assembly Building remains and is being reused. It occupies approximately 30 acres bordering the Kalamazoo River at 1 Glass Street in Allegan. The Site is bordered on the east by River Street, on the south by North Street, on the west by the City of Allegan Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), and on the northwest and north by the Kalamazoo River (backwater area). Due to the history of the site, the EPA had sampling done for PFAS on 5 of the monitoring wells usually used for annual groundwater sampling of the site. One well came back with PFAS and PFOA exceedances.

The Kalamazoo River is located near the monitoring well that had exceedances of PFOS and PFOA. There is also a WWTP located near this well that could also impact it.

 

Recent Accomplishments

  • In September 2020, EPA sampled five monitoring wells. One well exceeded criteria at 60 ppt PFOS and 24 ppt PFOA.
  • EGLE provided recommendations on what monitoring wells should be sampled next given the 2020 data.
  • The EPA made the decision to have the potentially responsible party (PRP) sample three monitoring wells of their choice sometime in the fall of 2022.

Next Steps

  • Rockwell International PRPs are working on a work plan that will include additional groundwater sampling to delineate the plume. The is expected to occur in the fall of 2022 after the work plan has been approved by the EPA and EGLE.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • The Kalamazoo River splits the Rockwell site from the residential area.Residents in the area are connected to municipal water.Allegan County has an ordinance that prohibits private drinking water wells.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or range)

Number of Sample Results Receieved

Number of Samples above Criteria

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

September 29, 2020 5 1
* Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

Sampling notes

  • Sampling was collected during a high rain event.
  • Nearby (within 100 feet) upstream is the wastewater treatment plant discharge location.