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Health, Science and Environment

Cleanup of contaminated parcel of land in Lansing nearing completion, but with caution

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of removing a heavily contaminated parcel of land in Lansing from the Superfund list.

The cleanup included the removal of thousands of tons of that soil.

The site on North Larch Street was known as Barrels, Inc. from 1961 to the early 1980s. The operation rinsed, repaired and repainted industrial barrels for reuse, and in the process, a wide variety of toxic materials contaminated the soil.

“It was abandoned, and there was literally thousands of drums on this property, as well as some underground storage tanks," EPA Remedial Project Manager Lauren Bumba said. "So, the state of Michigan got involved in 1986, to kind of go in and do an initial cleanup of those drums, and the underground storage tanks as well".

Bumba says all cleanup goals have been met. She describes removal from the Superfund list as a “significant milestone.”

“It doesn’t prevent future action under the Superfund, and if we did have any new information come to light about the site, we would still be able to take action under the Superfund law to permit that," Bumba said.

The State of Michigan concurs with the proposed Superfund deletion. Public comment on removing the site from the Superfund list is being accepted through June 14th. The EPA will consider adverse comments or any new information before making a final decision.