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Paw Paw Plating (Paw Paw, Van Buren County)

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

EGLE site lead

Rachel Golota, or 269-370-2404.


Paw Paw Plating, located at 139 Commercial Street in Paw Paw, is a former electroplating facility which operated from the 1950s until 2009. Paw Paw Plating's operations included cadmium, chromium, copper, and cyanide in the electroplating process. The company also performed metal processing such as machining, polishing, and painting using trichloroethylene (TCE) as a metal degreaser.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were used in electroplating processes as a fume suppressant. Due to the historical electroplating operations at the site, EGLE sampled for PFAS in existing groundwater monitoring wells.

Groundwater flow direction at the site is generally to the north, with a slight northeasterly component at Lilac Street. There are no drinking water wells in the vicinity. Paw Paw River is the primary receptor; groundwater is known to vent to the river.

Content posted March 2021.

Site map

See an aerial view of the location of the site.

Expand the map

Drinking water

There are no residential wells in the area.

Anticipated activities

EGLE is working with their contractor, DLZ Michigan, Inc., to develop a plan to delineate the extent of PFAS contamination in groundwater. In April 2021, EGLE's contractor, DLZ Michigan, Inc., will resample the groundwater monitoring wells for PFAS to confirm results and sample the storm sewer discharging into the Paw Paw River.

Historical timeline

    • On November 2, 2020, EGLE's contractor, DLZ Michigan, Inc. sampled 14 groundwater monitoring wells associated with the Paw Paw Plating site for PFAS.
    • On November 19, 2020, EGLE received preliminary analytical results for the 14 groundwater monitoring wells. Twelve of the 14 wells had concentrations of PFOA and PFOS that exceed criteria. The highest exceedances were 560 ppt PFOS and 120 ppt PFOA. 
    • On November 23, 2020, EGLE notified the state and local health departments and the Village of Paw Paw of the groundwater monitoring well sample results and reconfirmed that there are no residential drinking water wells in the area.
    • On December 8, 2020, EGLE received the final analytical report for the 14 groundwater monitoring wells, confirming that 12 of the 14 wells had concentrations of PFOA and PFOS that exceed criteria.

    Sampling Results Summary

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled (or Range)

    Numberof Sample Results Received

    Number of Samples above Criteria*

    Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    November 11, 2020 14 12
    *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.