Skip to main content

Axalta Coating Systems (Mount Clemens, Macomb County)

EGLE Site Lead: Kevin Wojciechowski, WojciechowskiK@Michigan.gov or 586-623-2948. Webpage last updated March 26, 2021.

Background

Axalta Coating Systems is located at 400 North Groesbeck Highway. This approximately 60-acre site was originally developed by the Ford Motor Company in 1966, and later owned by DuPont Performance Coatings. In February 2013, the Carlyle Group purchased the property from DuPont and rebranded as Axalta Coatings Systems. The Site has been developed with a large manufacturing and administration building, along with various ancillary buildings.  The site has been the location of manufacturing of various coatings and paints for automotive and industrial applications.

EGLE sampled for PFAS in the Greiner Drain, downstream from Axalta, on February 13, 2018, as part an investigation into PFAS sources to the Clinton River watershed.  Elevated concentrations of PFOS and PFOA were found in the drain. Based on Axalta's location in the watershed, historical and current manufacturing of coatings, and two historical releases of AFFF at the site, EGLE requested Axalta to conduct a storm water PFAS study as a requirement of their storm water discharge permit in 2018.  PFOS concentrations exceeding the state's Water Quality Standards (WQS) were detected in stormwater from the facility's outfalls. Subsequent investigation in 2019 at the site suggested that the infiltration of contaminated groundwater to the storm sewer system was contributing to the discharge of PFOS from the site.  Based on the 2018 and 2019 storm water PFAS studies, EGLE wrote a compliance communication in early 2020 requesting a groundwater PFAS study of the site.  Axalta is the liable party for the site and hired ERM as their environmental consultant.  Based on EGLE communications with Axalta, PFAS has never been utilized in a coating they currently or historically manufactured.

Based on the 2018 and 2019 storm water PFAS studies, EGLE wrote a compliance communication in early 2020 requesting a groundwater PFAS study of the site.  Axalta is the liable party for the site and hired ERM as their environmental consultant.  Based on EGLE communications with Axalta, PFAS has never been utilized in a coating they currently or historically manufactured.

The shallow groundwater flow is to the west, southwest.  Storm water from the facility discharges to the Greiner Drain, a tributary to the North Branch of the Clinton River.  PFOS has been identified in the Greiner Drain above Water Quality Standards.

Axalta Coating Systems Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • In 2019, sampling carried out by Axalta under the approved PFAS Storm Water Sampling Plan (and subsequent approved revisions of this plan) showed that areas of the facility's storm sewer system contained elevated PFOS. Samples of flowing water collected during dry weather showed PFOS up to 580 ppt and suggested that contaminated groundwater infiltrating the storm sewer system is a significant source for PFAS discharged from the facility.
  • On September 16, 2020, EGLE received the results from the first PFAS groundwater investigation conducted by ERM from three existing monitoring wells and four new monitoring wells on the Axalta property.  The highest result was PFOS of 670 ppt and PFOA of 140 ppt.

Next Steps

  • In early January 2021 Macomb County Health identified 4 water wells near the site.
  • In January and February 2021, EGLE was able to confirm with calls to Macomb County and knocking on doors the 4 wells identified were no longer in use.
  • ERM, the consultant for Axalta, will be submitting a second PFAS Groundwater Sampling Plan to EGLE by early 2021.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • No residential well sampling is planned; there are no water wells are in use near the site.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

June 30, 2020 and July 1, 2020 7 5
Surface Water October 6, 2018 - September 10, 2019 25 18

 

*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).
*Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA. 

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.