Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy today announced that the Gelman Sciences 1,4-dioxane plume has been deemed eligible by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move forward as a candidate for inclusion to the National Priorities List (NPL).
“We have worked hard to bring all four communities together to get this site cleaned up. For too long these communities have been pitted against each other, but this announcement demonstrates that we accomplish more when we work together,” Dingell said. “We’re not finished yet – we won’t stop until we have the final rule and the plan in place – but this is a very important step. I’m committed to seeing this through and finally ending this nightmare for all the residents who have been dealing with this for too long.”
“EGLE is committed to working closely with USEPA and affected communities to ensure a smooth transition to federal oversight, and that residents are protected throughout the process,” said Phil Roos, EGLE director. “We support the communities’ desire to bring federal resources to bear on this longstanding issue, and will support them and EPA going forward.”
The NPL is a list of known sites throughout the United States and its territories where historical releases of hazardous substances pose significant threats to human health and the environment. The site is eligible based on data from a recently completed site inspection and abundant historical data. EPA believes the site should be included on the NPL after analysis showed concentrations of 1,4-dioxane that likely originated from the site were above three times the background levels, or typical levels found in the area. Gelman Sciences operated as a medical filter manufacturer from 1966 until 1986 near Ann Arbor, Michigan. The facility’s unregulated waste handling created a plume of the industrial solvent 1,4-dioxane, which has spread and contaminated groundwater in Ann Arbor and Scio Townships.
The Gelman Site is expected to be proposed for NPL listing in a rulemaking early next year.
Rep. Dingell has long advocated for the Gelman dioxane plume to be designated a Superfund site, and has been working closely with the EPA to protect Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities and environment from the plume’s contamination.