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US Ecology Romulus (Romulus, Wayne County)

EGLE Site Lead: Nicole Sanabria, SanabriaN@Michigan.gov Webpage last updated: January 19, 2021

Background

US Ecology Romulus (USE ROM), located at 36345 Van Born Road is a hazardous waste facility licensed under Part 111, Hazardous Waste Management, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. This site has had several different owners since its operations began in 1964, mainly including solvent recovery operations. Corrective action has been ongoing since 1980 to address historic contamination. Corrective measures have included an asphalt barrier wall and a clay barrier wall that reduce groundwater contamination from moving offsite and a groundwater collection system that treats groundwater before discharging to Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) for further treatment. As part of USE ROM's license, the facility is required to use the groundwater collection system to keep groundwater and contamination from flowing off-site on the eastern part of the property. EGLE requested sampling for PFAS in 2018 because a fire occurred at the facility in 2005, and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) was believed to have been used. The highest PFOS + PFOA groundwater sample collected from the site was 119 ppt.

Groundwater flows east toward the Trouton Drain located immediately east of the site. The area is mainly industrial, with some residential areas to the south and east of the facility. There are no known downgradient drinking water wells in the area.

US Ecology Romulus Groundwater Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On October 21, 2019, EGLE requested a workplan to improve the groundwater collection system onsite to ensure PFAS contamination cannot move offsite and will be collected and treated before being discharged to the GLWA.
  • On October 30, 2019, EGLE received the sampling data and report from the confirmation sampling event. PFOA + PFOS was 58 ppt.
  • On August 25, 2020, EGLE received a workplan to improve the groundwater collection system onsite.
  • In December 2020, USE ROM completed construction to improve the groundwater collection system.

Next Steps

  • Monitoring will occur monthly to ensure groundwater is not moving offsite. This is required by the facility's license.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • None at this time. There are no known downgradient drinking water wells in the area.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Notes

  • Three samples were collected in the Trouton Drain to the east of the site. Two upstream and one downstream samples were collected; both upstream samples were higher than the downstream, possibly suggesting another contributing source. 

Historical Timeline

  •  

    • On November 29, 2018, EGLE requested a workplan for PFAS sampling at the facility.

    • On February 5, 2019, USE ROM submitted a workplan to complete PFAS sampling.  EGLE approved the workplan shortly after.
    • On April 15, 2019, USE ROM completed PFAS sampling of one monitoring well onsite and two surface water samples of the nearby Trouton Drain.  EGLE was present to collect split samples of the monitoring well.

    • On May 6, 2019, EGLE received the results from their split sample. PFOA + PFOS was 119 ppt.

    • On July 10, 2019, EGLE received the sampling data and report from the USE ROM samples. PFOA + PFOS was above 70 ppt, but the lab data contained significant quality control issues due to suspected cross contamination. As a result, EGLE requested USE ROM to collect a second round of samples to confirm the results.

    • On October 21, 2019, EGLE requested a workplan to improve the groundwater collection system onsite to ensure PFAS contamination cannot move offsite and will be collected and treated before being discharged to the GLWA.

    • On October 30, 2019, EGLE received the sampling data and report from the confirmation sampling event. PFOA + PFOS was 58 ppt.

     

    • On August 25, 2020, EGLE received a workplan to improve the groundwater collection system onsite.
    • In December 2020, USE ROM completed construction to improve the groundwater collection system.

     

Historical Sampling Chart: Data is reflective of criteria prior to 8/3/2020, PFOS and PFOA Only

This chart reflects data received prior to 8/3/2020.

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Samples

Number of Results Received

Number of Non-detects  Number Between Non-detects and Standard*  Number Greater than or Equal to Standard 

Groundwater

April - July 2020  2  2  0  1  1
 Surface Water July 2020   3  3  0  0  3
 Cumulative    5  5  0  1  4

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of 70 ppt PFOS+PFOA.
*Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.