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Clare Water Supply Superfund Site (Clare, Clare County)

EGLE Site Lead: Beth Mead-O'Brien, OBrienE1@Michigan.gov or 517-242-7829. Webpage last updated June 9, 2020.

Background

This site covers part of downtown Clare, an industrial park, and the city's Municipal Wellfield.  The aquifer serving the municipal wells became contaminated by multiple sources that came from the industrial park.  In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began evaluating the existing cleanup actions at this site to improve the effectiveness of the cleanup.  As part of this evaluation, data gaps were identified including the potential presence of PFAS due to historical plating and fabric handling operations at part of the site.  Contaminated soils in that part of the site were excavated and moved to an on-site soil treatment cell.  The 2017 evaluation report recommended that EPA determine whether sampling for PFAS was appropriate. 

As a part of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) state-wide efforts, the Clare municipal water supply was sampled for PFAS in 2018.  PFAS compounds were detected below criteria in both municipal wells and drinking water being distributed.  EPA requested the responsible parties sample select groundwater monitoring wells for PFAS.  That sampling event occurred in October 2019.

The groundwater at the site flows to two municipal wells.  These municipal wells are part of the remedy at the site wherein they capture contaminated groundwater and send it through air stripper treatment to treat the volatile organic compounds (e.g. solvents) present in the water.  This type of treatment does not address PFAS. There is a permeable reactive barrier that prevents contaminated groundwater from entering the nearby wetland.

Aerial Map of Clare Water Supply Superfund Site

Recent Accomplishments

  • In April 2020, EGLE and EPA reviewed final sample results and EPA made recommendations to the responsible parties which include conducting additional groundwater and municipal well sampling and continuing operation of extraction wells to minimize spread of groundwater contamination. 
  • During the May 14, 2020 monthly update call with potentially responsible parties, the potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct an additional round of PFAS sampling from several monitoring wells across the site.

Next Steps

  • Potentially responsible parties to conduct additional groundwater sampling for PFAS the week of June 8, 2020.  Results anticipated to be provided within two months.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Local residents are connected to municipal water.  There are no known residential wells in the area.
  • City of Clare municipal water supply was sampled for PFAS in 2018 and sampled quarterly in 2019.  View the results for the city of Clare here.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled 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

October 2019 17 17 5 11 1
*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.

Historical Timeline

    • On February 3, 2020, EGLE received the draft sample results from the October 2019 sample event.  The results identified presence of PFAS in groundwater above criteria in one extraction well located near the soil treatment cell.  The highest PFOS + PFOA groundwater sample result was 440 ppt.
    • In April 2020, EGLE and EPA reviewed final sample results and EPA made recommendations to the responsible parties which include conducting additional groundwater and municipal well sampling and continuing operation of extraction wells to minimize spread of groundwater contamination.
    • During the May 14, 2020 monthly update call with potentially responsible parties, the potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct an additional round of PFAS sampling from several monitoring wells across the site.