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BASF - Northworks Wyandotte (Wyandotte, Wayne County)

EGLE Site Lead: Arthur Ostaszewski, OstaszewskiA@Michigan.gov or 517-936-7991. Webpage last updated: November 24, 2020. 

Background

BASF Northworks Wyandotte (BASF NW) is a chemical manufacturing facility located at 1609 Biddle Avenue. PFAS compounds were detected from BASF NW discharges to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW) and to the Detroit River. 

In 2020, BASF NW and EGLE conducted a groundwater investigation and detected PFOS, PFOA, and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), in the groundwater at the site in the vicinity of the three extraction well fields that are mandated by a State of Michigan Consent Decree since 1985/86, as well as a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Order on Consent since 1994, that requires BASF NW to prevent discharge of contaminated groundwater to the Detroit River.

The facility is subject to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Corrective Action, and is an EPA Region 5 lead RCRA Corrective Action site. EGLE works closely with the EPA on cleanup and is the lead on PFAS issues. 

BASF NW borders the Detroit River in the Downriver Area below Ecorse Creek. An extraction well system, put in place by a Consent Decree, is currently functioning to keep contaminated groundwater from reaching the Detroit River. The EPA’s Consent Decree requires BASF NW to prevent contaminated groundwater from discharging to the Detroit River.

The extraction system has been running for over 35 years. Extracted groundwater is treated and discharged to the publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

The city of Wyandotte’s drinking water intake is immediately downstream of BASF NW. Detectable levels of PFOS, and PFHxS were present in a sample collected in August 2019. Ten subsequent sampling events through June 2020 did not identify PFAS at detectable levels in raw or finished drinking water.

BASF NW Wyandotte PFAS Site Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On October 2018, EGLE requested BASF NW conduct PFAS monitoring from three outfalls to the Detroit River following detections of PFOS in discharge to POTW.
  • On December 6, 2018, BASF NW collected samples from outfalls 001, 002, 003 which discharge to the Detroit River. Results ranged from 6.6 to 56 ppt PFOS at Outfall 001A. The other two outfalls were below Water Quality Standards for PFOS and PFOA.
  • On June 24, 2019, under the National Permit Discharge Elimination System program, EGLE issued a violation notice (VN) to BASF NW requiring additional investigation sampling and source identification. 
  • On August 28, 2019, BASF NW responded to the VN with a PFAS Source Identification Study Plan for discharge from outfall 001. Source investigation suggests that historical AFFF use contaminated the groundwater which infiltrates into their NPDES discharge.
  • On May 7, 2020, BASF NW shared sampling results of Source Identification Study with EGLE and a recommended path forward. PFOS was primary PFAS compound detected from outfall 001 discharging to the Detroit River.
  • In the summer of 2020 BASF NW and EGLE conducted additional interior groundwater PFAS investigation and surface water sampling and confirmed the presence of PFOS, PFOA, and PFHxS in the groundwater from three extraction well fields. The highest results were 8,070 ppt PFOS, 73 ppt PFOA, and 762 PFHxS.

Next Steps

  • BASF NW intends to conduct continued PFAS investigations within the storm water and non-contact cooling water system of Outfall 001, including jet cleaning and video inspections in 2020/2021.
  • In Fall 2020 EGLE will work with EPA to require BASF NW to conduct PFAS analysis of all groundwater surface water interface perimeter wells.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • The area is supplied by municipal water by the city of Wyandotte. There are no known residential wells in the area. 
  • In August of 2019, city of Wyandotte's drinking water intake, which is located immediately downstream of BASF, was tested and had detectable levels of PFOS, and PFHxS. Ten subsequent sampling events conducted through June 2020 did not identify PFAS at detectable levels in raw or finished drinking water from the intake. Routine monitoring of the drinking water intake and/or finished water are ongoing.

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 PFOS Criteria

Number of Samples above PFOA Criteria

Groundwater

2020 10 6 5
 Surface Water December 2018 - 2020  10 4 0
 Cumulative   20 10 5

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Drinking Water Criteria of PFOS 16 ppt and PFOA 8 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

  • Sample results in the table above do not include BASF sample results for non-contact cooling water or storm sewer sampling. In total 39 additional samples were collected with the highest PFOS of 1,360 ppt.