Saturday, October 17, 2015

Update: Ten Mile Drain Superfund Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently that Harper Avenue between Bon Brae Street and Lakeland Street in St.Clair Shores, Michigan will be closed from mid-October to mid-November in order to remove contaminated sewer pipe, liner and backfill underlying Harper Avenue.  Work in the area is expected to be completed by mid-December.

The Harper Avenue project is part of EPA’s Ten Mile Drain Superfund Site cleanup.  In 2002, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a toxic, synthetic chemical compound once added to oil for use as an electrical insulator and coolant, was discovered in two nearby canals leading to Lake St. Clair.  
The contamination was thought to have come from the stormwater sewer system in the vicinity of Ten Mile Road.  The canals were dredged by EPA contractors in 2003.  However, in 2005 local officials determined that contamination was ongoing.  Dozens of soil samples were taken, and a portion of the sewer was lined to prevent PCB from leaking into the system.
More sediment contaminated with PCB-laden oil was removed from the sewers in 2008 and 2009. Numerous weirs were installed to trap toxic sediment and identify the point of entry.

In 2011, another cleanup plan was initiated.  The contamination was traced to two manhole vaults, which were replaced in 2014.

While cutting back the liner inside a 48-inch reinforced concrete pipe beneath Harper Avenue recently, workers found that PCB-contaminated oil was flowing out of the end of the pipe between the liner and the pipe’s inside wall. EPA believes this is a source of PCBs to the rest of the Ten-Mile Drain system, and the Lange and Revere Street canals. Agency investigators have found high concentrations of PCBs near manhole vaults [previously replaced] which are at each end of the pipe beneath Harper Avenue.”,-82.9025096,15z

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AOC Meeting Announcement
The United States Environmental Protection Agency will be hosting the 2016 Areas of Concern Annual meeting for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 2-3 at the University of Michigan at Dearborn MI. Mark your calendars, reserve this date and spread the word to all who may be interested in attending.
Contact: John Perrecone, 312/353-1149,

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