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Steele Avenue Area (Grand Rapids, Kent County)

Web content may not routinely be updated on this page. Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of the site.
Content posted January 2021.

EGLE Site Lead

Brent Ritchie, or 616-581-1782.


Steele Avenue Area located in the 1500 Block of Steele Avenue SW is a vacant, undeveloped property comprising 2.2 acres in an industrial neighborhood.  The purchaser conducted an environmental assessment before they purchased the property in late 2018, which included the collection of five groundwater samples.  Four of the five samples exceeded the groundwater cleanup criteria.  Since this property was never developed, the PFAS are believed to be from an off-site source yet to be determined.

Westerly groundwater flow is toward the Silver Creek Drain (in an underground culvert) and Plaster Creek is approximately a half-mile to the west.  There are no known impacts to surface water.  Municipal water is available and no known drinking water wells are nearby.

Steele Avenue Area Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • From September to December 2020, EGLE staff reviewed file information for several known sites of environmental contamination in the area to begin developing a regional conceptual understanding of potential PFAS sources.
  • In January 2021, EGLE performed a review of November 2018 sampling data for comparison of all seven PFAS compounds which went into effect in December 2020; the results summary below was updated.

Next Steps

  • As staff time and funding permits, a state funded investigation may commence to pursue the source of PFAS in groundwater.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • EGLE collaborated with the local health department and determined that there were no  nearby residential or irrigation wells.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

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

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

November 20, 2020 5 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

  • Samples collected from temporary monitoring wells installed as part of environmental due diligence at the facility.  No wells remain onsite.

Historical Timeline

    • On August 8, 2019, EGLE received the Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) which contained the sampling information.
    • On December 17, 2019, EGLE completed the review of the BEA.  The highest groundwater sample result was 29 ppt PFOS; 11 ppt PFOA.