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11/07/2017 - EPA Issues Preliminary Assessment of Gelman site to be a Superfund site

The US EPA issued its 10/20/2017 Preliminary Assessment (PA) report of the Gelman Sciences 1,4-dioxane contamination site in response to a petition by Ann Arbor Charter Township, Scio Township and the Sierra Club of Huron Valley to make the site a Superfund site.

The letter to petitioners states "the Gelman facility generates a score above 28.5 under EPA’s Hazard Ranking System ... used to assess the relative potential of a release to pose a threat to human health or the environment" making the site eligible for further investigation and evaluation in the National Priorities List (NPL) listing process.

While not making the site a full blown Superfund program site at this time, the Region 5 has taken an unusual step to of assigning a project manager to the site. The project manager, Michael Berkoff, an environmental scientist, will "evaluate existing information and current/future risks to human health from the Gelman facility 1,4-dioxane release." The EPA will also evaluate potential ecological risks. 

"The Gelman release will remain on EPA’s active Superfund program site inventory. EPA reserves the option to pursue enforcement actions at the Gelman facility in the future and does not waive CERCLA authority."

The MDEQ is required to provide quarterly reports to the EPA on the status of the Gelman dioxane site.

The Preliminary Assessment and its attachments are quite large (368 MB). SRSW has separated the PA and its attachments into manageable parts and renamed the attachments to be in date order to better show the chronology of the prior investigations referenced.

SRSW chair, Roger Rayle, has begun reviewing the PA and its attachments and has created these draft documents in preparation for a formal response to the EPA:
The EPA PA process revealed some early documents the provided additional insights into the original contamination but also raised new questions about future risks. Several loose ends remain to be addressed as documented in the list above.