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Cottage Grove and Marshall Area (Grand Rapids, Kent County)

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

EGLE site lead

Brent Ritchie, or 616-581-1782.


The Cottage Grove and Marshall Area site includes the 800 block of Cottage Grove Street, SE and 1500 block of Marshall. Several metal plating operations have existed in this neighborhood from the 1960s to present day.

Based on information in the file, natural groundwater flow is to the southwest toward Silver Creek, which is in a below-grade culvert approximately 600 feet south of the investigation area. Investigations have also shown a westerly component to groundwater flow near the historic natural path of Silver Creek.

Content posted June 2022.

Site map

See an aerial view of the location of the site.

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Drinking water

Surrounding residents/businesses are on municipal water from the city of Grand Rapids. There are no drinking water receptors in the current investigation area.

Anticipated activities

Though not the cause of the release, EGLE is working with APF to investigate and monitor PFAS groundwater plume in accordance with Michigan environmental laws.

Historical timeline

    • On May 30, 2019, a single groundwater sample was collected from a temporary monitoring well on the southeast side of the property.
    • On July 17, 2019, EGLE received the results of the sample collected in May, which was PFOS + PFOA  of 1,410 ppt.
    • On September 20, 2019, EGLE sent a compliance communication to a potential liable party requesting history of PFAS use and additional investigation.
    • On October 8, 2019, EGLE staff met with a potential liable party to outline the need for further investigation in the area.
    • On November 8, 2019, EGLE received a report from the Kent County Health Department confirming that the businesses and residences in the area were connected to the municipal water supply.  EGLE worked with the city of Grand Rapids to corroborate this report and confirm several locations which did not have documentation in the Health Department’s file. In summary, there are no drinking water receptors in this investigation area.
    • On November 12, 2019, EGLE received a letter (dated October 31, 2019) which detailed the potential liable party’s intention to complete additional investigation activity in the area in January 2020. This letter also asserted that the company has not conducted plating operations that required the use of PFAS-containing products and attributed the presence of PFAS in the area to previous operators.
    • On January 27, 2020, the potential liable party reported that they have contracted with an environmental consulting firm to investigate the presence of PFAS in the subsurface near one or more of the potential source properties.
    • On March 23, 2020 EGLE had a conference call with potentially liable party’s environmental consultant to discuss possible investigation methods and preliminary extent. Reached an agreement that the consultant would develop and submit a formal work plan for review.
    • On July 9, 2020, EGLE received information from one potential liable party regarding the status of historical use information and ongoing research pertaining to soil and groundwater conditions and possible up-gradient sources of PFAS contamination.  Additional work remains underway and EGLE awaits analytical results from any recent sampling.
    • On July 30, 2020, EGLE hosted a conference call to discuss the preliminary findings of the groundwater sampling conducted at the Advance Plating & Finishing property located in the investigation area.  EGLE was not yet provided detailed laboratory analysis and insufficient information was available to determine the source of the PFAS identified previously.  However, sampling confirmed that PFAS contamination extends to the east and south of the current investigation area.  Additional investigation is needed and EGLE awaits formal submittal of laboratory data. 
    • Historical Sampling Chart: Data is reflective of criteria prior to August 3, 2020,  PFOS and PFOA Only

      This chart reflects data received prior to August 3, 2020.

      Type of Sample

      Date Sampled (or Range)

      Number of Samples

      Number of Results Received

      Number of Non-Detects  Number Between Non-detect and Standard*  Number Greater Than or Equal to Standard 


      May 30, 2019 1 1 0 0 1
       Cumulative   1 1 0 0 1

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

      Historical Timeline Continued

      • On September 24, 2020, EGLE received a Baseline Environmental Assessment for the property at 840 Cottage Grove, SE wherein additional groundwater sampling for PFAS was documented.  Based on information provided in that report, groundwater downgradient and to the southwest of the plating facility contained a higher concentration of PFAS (primarily PFOS) than groundwater wells situated upgradient to the east.  Following receipt of this information, EGLE contacted the operator of the plating company at 840 Cottage Grove Street, SE to arrange for additional investigation activities.
      • As noted above, after further investigation, on November 23, 2020, EGLE was provided the location of monitoring wells sampled and results of additional groundwater investigation activities conducted by APF, the owner/operator at 840 Cottage Grove Street, SE.  Groundwater sampling suggests that historical discharges from the plating facility at 840 Cottage Grove Street, SE was a source of PFOS (and other PFAS) in the groundwater.  However, based on a thorough review of APF's operations, no PFAS-containing mist suppressants were used; the use of PFOS in plating fluids likely occurred prior to ownership and operation of the facility by APF.
    • On February 8, 2021, EGLE and APF participated in a conference call to discuss site data and APF’s responsibilities under Michigan’s environmental laws.
    • On March 9, 2021, APF began preparation of a groundwater use restriction for the facility.
    • On December 28, 2021, EGLE sent APF a request for an update on the status of the PFAS investigation.
    • On December 29, 2021, APF provided EGLE drafts of the onsite Restrictive Covenant to prohibit the installation of groundwater wells on the property and a Notice of Migration form which is used to notify neighbors of the detection of contamination in the groundwater near the facility. EGLE reviewed these documents and provided APF with comments on January 9, 2022.

    Sampling Results Summary

    This table reflects data received after August 3, 2020. Data prior to August 3, 2020 is reflected in the timeline below.

    This table was updated to include all seven PFAS criteria effective December 21, 2020.

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled (or Range)

    Numberof Sample Results Received

    Number of Samples above Criteria*

    Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    May 15 - October 30, 2020 7 4

    * Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds:  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

    • On August 3, 2020, new Part 201 Criteria went into effect.  Historical sampling data compared to Part 201 Criteria >70 is captured in the historical timeline below.