Skip to main content

Eagle Ottawa Newaygo Farms (Walkerville, Oceana and Newaygo County)

EGLE Site Lead: Aaron Assmann, AssmannA@Michigan.gov or 616-430-5275. Content Last Updated: March 11, 2022.

Background

Eagle Ottawa Leather Company (EOLC) operated a tannery in Grand Haven, MI from approximately 1916 to 2007. In approximately 1994, EOLC began managing residuals from their wastewater treatment plant by dewatering, composting and then land applying. This practice concluded in ~2007. Residuals were transported from Grand Haven to two locations in parts of Oceana and Newaygo counties owned and operated by Eagle Ottawa Newaygo Farms until ~2007. In mid-2021, the "Hilltop" and "Longview" locations were sold, and the new owner submitted a Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in December 2021. The locations are used for various crop productions and concentrated animal feed operations (CAFO). The BEA contained information showing PFAS contamination in shallow groundwater above EGLE clean-up criteria across both locations. Many residential drinking water wells are present adjacent to both locations and EGLE will be requesting access to sample the wells.

Groundwater flow is unknown but is suspected to be toward Beaver Creek. Residential drinking water wells are present in all directions.

Eagle Ottawa-Newaygo Farms map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On December 27, 2021, EGLE received a BEA showing eight shallow groundwater (≤ 20' below ground surface) monitoring wells exceeded criteria.  The highest results were 1,800 ppt PFOA, 680 ppt PFOS and 20 ppt PFNA.
  • In January 2022, EGLE worked with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the District 10 local health department to determine residential well locations in the area and developed a "public health action plan" for responding to drinking water well results when they are received.
  • In January 2022, MDARD began working with the new owner / operator of the CAFO to learn more about the farm operations and steps taken to eliminate or mitigate potential PFAS exposure to the farm animals.

Next Steps

  • EGLE mailed letters to approximately 25 residents in the area requesting access to sample residential wells.  Once EGLE receives permission to sample wells, EGLE with work with AECOM to coordinate drinking water well sampling and analysis.

Residential Well/Alternate Water

  • EGLE mailed letters to 25 residents in the area requesting access to sample residential wells.  Once EGLE receives permission to sample wells, EGLE with work with AECOM to coordinate drinking water well sampling and analysis.

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 2021 8 8
Residential Wells TBD N/A

N/A

*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).

Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.