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Michner Plating (Jackson, Jackson County)

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Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of this site.

EGLE site lead

Shelby Bahaw,, or 517-388-4899.


The Michner Plating site is located along the east shore of the Grand River at 506 North Mechanic Street in the city of Jackson. The site was operated as a plating shop from the 1930s until it became inactive in 2007. In 2015 Jackson County obtained the property through foreclosure and discovered over 1,100 drums, vats, totes, and other containers potentially containing cyanide, zinc cyanide, nickel chloride, chromic acid, hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid, ignitable wastes, reactive wastes and other chemicals.

Following the discovery, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conducted a time-sensitive removal of the chemical-containing drums and totes. The contaminated soil and groundwater identified on the site is likely the result of the historical release of hazardous substances to the environment over the course of the historical operations.

The site also has detected concentrations of chlorinated solvents, which may pose a vapor intrusion risk to the on-site building and adjoining properties. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) tested this site for PFAS due to the historical operations and their current investigation of other contaminants at the site.

Content posted December 2019.

Site map

See an aerial view of the location.

Expand the map

Drinking water

Nearby properties are serviced by municipal water, which comes from wells approximately 2.5 miles upstream of this site. EGLE has sampled all municipal water supplies for PFAS. View the results for the city of Jackson here. Private drinking water wells are known to exist about 1 to 1.5 miles downstream of the site. While preliminary investigations show that the groundwater on site is flowing towards the Grand River, sampling results at various locations on the Grand River were below the surface water quality values suggesting that the PFAS contamination has not migrated offsite. EGLE will be reviewing location and depth information on the private drinking water wells located downstream of the site.

Anticipated activities

EGLE will continue investigating contaminants other than PFAS on-site as part of the overall investigation of the site.

Historical Timeline

    • On August 23, 2018, EGLE collected six samples from existing groundwater monitoring wells on site.
    • On September 24, 2018, EGLE received the results from the August 2018 sampling and confirmed groundwater contamination over the Lifetime Health Advisory(LHA) of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA in some samples. The highest result was 9,479 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
    • On December 20, 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (EGLE) collected five surface water samples from the Grand River upstream, downstream, and adjacent to the site as per the work plan developed on December 12, 2018.
    • January 11, 2018, EGLE approved a work plan to conduct additional sampling of the Grand River, on-site groundwater monitoring wells, and water accumulated in the basements of buildings on-site.
    • On January 4, 2019, EGLE met with the Jackson County Health Department (JCHD) officials to discuss contamination on site and potential risks to off-site properties and residents.
    • On January 11, 2019, EGLE received results of sampling that was conducted on December 20, 2018. Results show that the PFOA, PFOS and total PFAS concentrations in all five surface water samples were below standard.
    • On January 18, 2019, EGLE collected 5 surface water samples from the Grand River, 3 groundwater samples on site and 4 basement or vault samples from the site.
    • On February 6, 2019, EGLE received results of sampling that was conducted on January 18, 2019. The results show that while the concentrations of PFAS on-site exceed the standards both in the groundwater and the water in the basement, the concentrations of PFAS in the samples collected from the Grand River are below water quality standards. Maximum concentrations detected in the Grand River were 7.1 ppt PFOS + PFOA.
    • On March 20, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) obtained thermal aerial imagery of the Grand River using a drone flight to better understand the interaction between the river and the aquifer. Preliminary analysis does not show any obvious seepage to the Grand River.
    • On June 17 and 18, 2019 surface water samples were collected from a total of 128 sites in the Grand River, Thornapple River, and Looking Glass River watersheds, and submitted for analysis. Among these were a total of 9 Grand River sites in the Jackson area, near and bracketing the Michner Plating site. Results were received on August 29, 2019. PFOS concentrations in the 9 Jackson area samples ranged from 0.9 to 2.5 ppt, and PFOA concentrations ranged from 1.6 to 2.1 ppt.
    • On June 25, 2019 EGLE collected fish samples from the Grand River at Gale Road (upstream of Eaton Rapids) and from the Moores Park impoundment in Lansing for analysis of PFAS and other contaminants. The results are not expected to be in before the end of the year.
    • On July 18, 2019 EGLE received a workplan to collect additional site data, to conduct PFAS treatability and pilot study on site, which is currently being evaluated.
    • On September 27, 2019 EGLE conducted a kickoff meeting to discuss the planned treatability study and additional data needed to design the study pertaining to PFAS contaminated water inside onsite basements.
    • During the week of October 21, 2019 EGLE collected groundwater samples from the 30 monitoring wells associated with this site. Results are expected to be received early December 2019.
    • On November 5, 2019, EGLE conducted a site walk with former operator, representatives from the county and city, and contractors to further assess the building and identify potential areas of concern for PFAS and other contaminants.
    • On November 24, 2019, EGLE received the results for the groundwater monitoring well sampling conducted in October 2019. Results show that PFOA+PFOS exceedances above 70 ppt in 19 of the 31 groundwater monitoring wells sampled.

    Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled

    Number of Samples

    Number of Results Received

    Number of Non-detects

    Number of Detections Below Standard*

    Number of Detections Greater ThanStandard*

    Groundwater Aug 23, 2018 -
    40 40 0 12 28
    Surface Water Dec 20, 2018 -
    Jun, 2019
    19 19 0 19 0

    *Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
    *Surface water results are compared to Rule 57 surface water quality values of 12 ppt (PFOS) and 12,000 ppt (PFOA).

    Sampling Notes

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