EPA Adds Former McLouth Steel Corp. Site in Trenton, Michigan to National Priorities List

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News Releases from Region 05

05/13/2019

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TRENTON (May 13, 2019) — Today U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp announced that the former McLouth Steel Corp. site in Trenton, Mich., is one of seven sites nationwide being added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) where releases of contamination pose human health and environmental risks.

Stepp toured the McLouth Steel site today and was later joined by Mayor Kyle F. Stack, representatives from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, representatives from Crown Enterprises, residents and stakeholders at Trenton City Hall to discuss next steps as the cleanup goes forward.

“Cleaning up the southern portion of the McLouth Steel site will not only improve the human health and the environment but will spur economic growth and opportunity,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Restoring sites to productive use is part of EPA’s core mission.”

The McLouth Steel site has been split into two sections: the north and south. Contamination on southern portion stems from the facility’s former steel-making process and acid pickling line operation.  

“Federal prioritization and funding of the McLouth site clean-up and its eventual return to productive economic use is great news for the people of Trenton and all Michiganders,” said EGLE director Liesl Clark. “We look forward to further collaboration with EPA across the Great Lakes state in our shared commitment to protecting people and the environment.”

The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.

“By adding these sites to the National Priorities List, we are taking action to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated sites, protect the health of the local communities, and return the sites to safe and productive reuse,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Our commitment to these communities is that sites on the National Priorities List will be a true national priority. We’ve elevated the Superfund program to a top priority, and in Fiscal Year 2018, EPA deleted all or part of 22 sites from the NPL, the largest number of deletions in one year since Fiscal Year 2005.”

In addition to the McLouth site, the following six sites are also being added to the NPL:

  • Magna Metals in Cortlandt Manor, New York
  • PROTECO in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico
  • Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area in Minden, West Virginia
  • Cliff Drive Groundwater Contamination in Logansport, Indiana
  • Sporlan Valve Plant #1 in Washington, Missouri
  • Copper Bluff Mine in Hoopa, California

While EPA may find contamination during its own investigations, EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for the agency’s help.

Community partnerships are critical to Superfund site cleanups. EPA’s goal is to involve community partners in the cleanup process at every site, including exploring future site uses, thereby giving EPA the best chance of transforming the site into a productive community resource.

Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program has achieved significant reductions in birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24% within 3 miles of sites after cleanup.

Redeveloped Superfund sites can generate a great deal of economic activity. Thanks to Superfund cleanups, previously blighted properties are now being used for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. At 529 Superfund sites returned to productive use, 8,600 businesses operate and 195,000 employees earn more than $13 billion in annual income.

The Superfund Task Force is working to improve the Superfund program. EPA has implemented nearly half of the Task Force’s recommendations to expedite site cleanups and redevelopment and expects to complete the remaining recommendations by July 2019.

For information about the McLouth Superfund site: 

https://www.epa.gov/superfund/mclouth-steel

For information about Superfund and the NPL:

https://www.epa.gov/superfund

The 2018 Superfund Accomplishments Report is available at:

https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-remedial-annual-accomplishments

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for NPL and proposed sites:

https://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites

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