SPARTAN CHEMICAL COMPANY
WYOMING, KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN
The Spartan Chemical Company site is a former (closed 1992) chemical transfer, blending and repackaging facility in Wyoming, Michigan. Due to contamination of the soil and groundwater with volatile organic chemicals, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 8, 1983. After the first phase of investigation, in 1988, the site owner installed a system to pump and treat the contaminated groundwater. The system was shut down in 1993 when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the local municipal Waste Water Plant could not agree on the terms for disposal of the treated water through the sewer system. Since then, MDNR and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) have been further investigating the site.
There is a junior high school near the site, with an unfenced and abandoned railroad right-of-way
between. Parents of children attending the school have expressed concern about their children's
exposure to contaminants from the site during play on the school's soccer field. In June 1993,
MDNR collected soil samples from the school grounds and the right-of-way. Several samples
contained arsenic and manganese at concentrations above the MDEQ's Clean-Up Criteria.
However, no one is likely to ingest or inhale enough of the chemicals to incur adverse health effects.
The Spartan Chemical Company site is a two-acre industrial parcel located at 2539 28th Street, Wyoming, Michigan (see Figure 1). From 1952 to 1992, the Spartan Chemical Company occupied the site, engaging in transfer, blending, and repackaging of bulk chemicals. Chemicals handled at the site included aromatic solvents, naphthas, alcohols, ketones, ethers, chlorinated solvents, and lacquer thinners. The Spartan Chemical Company filed for bankruptcy in February 1992 and closed their facility on the site.
Since 1975, contamination with chemicals attributed to operations at Spartan Chemical have been found in the groundwater and soil on and near the site. In 1981, five residential wells north of the site were found to be contaminated with organic chemicals. These wells have been abandoned, and all five residences have been connected to the Wyoming municipal water supply.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) placed the Spartan Chemical Company site on the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 8, 1983. In 1984, Spartan Chemical Company and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) signed a consent order agreeing to investigate and remediate the groundwater contamination associated with the Spartan Chemical property. After investigation, in 1988, the company installed a purge well on their property and an air stripper to extract and treat the contaminated groundwater, discharging the treated water to the Wyoming municipal waste water treatment plant. However, in January 1993, the MDNR and the City of Wyoming could not reach an agreement to continue discharging the treated water to the municipal waste treatment plant, and the MDNR shut down the treatment system (1). The treatment system remains shut down as of this writing pending redesign (2).
On June 29, 1993, the U.S. EPA signed an interim action Record of Decision (ROD) for the site, which included an evaluation of the existing groundwater treatment system to determine what modifications would be needed to resume operation of the existing groundwater treatment system. The ROD also provided for continuation of groundwater monitoring (3). The MDNR and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)1 conducted a Remedial Investigation of the site between August 1994 and May 1996 (4).
On April 10, 1989, working under a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Michigan Department of Public Health (MDPH)2 prepared a Preliminary Health Assessment for the Spartan Chemical site (5). On August 30, 1994, working under the same cooperative agreement with the ATSDR, the MDPH prepared a Site Review and Update for the Spartan Chemical site (6).
At a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)-sponsored public meeting concerning the site in October 1997, parents of children attending a school adjacent to the site expressed concerns about their children's safety from contaminated soil and air while playing in the school yard. Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) staff offered to examine the available information and evaluate the risks in the school yard.