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Seamless tube manufacturing has been conducted at this facility since 1927. Previous owners were Michigan Seamless Tube, Inc., Quanex Corporation, and Michigan Specialty Tube of Vision Metals, Inc. The facility was closed due to the bankruptcy of Vision Metals in 2002. In October 2002, Michigan Seamless Tube, LLC ("MST" for short) purchased the facility and production operations started in November 2002.
Past manufacturing operations at this facility may have adversely impacted the environment. On April 6, 2004 we entered into an agreement with the State of Michigan to investigate and address several areas of concern that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ("MDEQ") has identified at this facility that were caused by the former owners.
Iron and manganese have been detected in groundwater at the facility. While both of these metals are naturally occurring in groundwater in this area, levels have been detected at the facility that exceed certain of MDEQ's screening criteria, which are the levels at which MDEQ begins to evaluate these materials on a case-by-case basis. This case-by-case determination is particularly complicated because these materials are nutritionally necessary.
Manganese has been found in groundwater at the facility at levels that exceed MDEQ's aesthetic criteria, which means the manganese does not pose a health risk, but may cause the water to have an unpleasant quality. Elevated levels of iron also have been found in groundwater at the facility. Along the facility's western boundary, iron levels in groundwater were detected at levels ranging from 6,300 to 9,700 parts per billion.
As part of the agreement with the State, in July 2008 MST began voluntarily testing groundwater in the area west of Dixboro Road for iron and manganese. The purpose of this sampling is to evaluate the levels of these metals in groundwater beyond the facility's western boundary. The following link contains a map that shows the sample locations as well as the levels detected at the facility boundary.
Iron and manganese were detected in the groundwater samples collected west of Dixboro Road in July 2008. To help us narrow down where these substances might be located, MST sampled water from several residential drinking water wells in the Greenock Hills and Pheasant Lake subdivisions. Samples were collected before and after each home's water treatment systems. Common residential water softeners remove iron and manganese. Iron and manganese were detected in many of the residential well samples collected before the home's treatment system. Higher levels of these metals have been found to be acceptable to MDEQ at other locations. In the samples collected after the treatment system, iron and manganese were NOT detected (with the exception of iron that was detected in one sample at a level well below all applicable cleanup criteria).
The MDEQ-approved report on the results of the 2008 testing is available in the Salem-South Lyon District Library.
In 2009, MST installed monitoring wells on and off its property on the east side of the site under a MDEQ-approved work plan to better characterize site hydrogeological conditions. A report on the results of the 2009 sampling efforts was provided to MDEQ and also can be found in the District Library.
MDEQ analyzed the results of the 2009 sampling efforts. In 2011, MDEQ identified specific monitoring wells from the 2009 sampling program to be resampled for four calendar quarters to better determine naturally occurring or background levels of iron and manganese (and some other metals) in groundwater at and around the MST site. That program is scheduled for completion in mid-2012. The results will be provided to MDEQ in an annual investigation report.
If you have any questions about iron or manganese in groundwater, you can contact your physician or visit the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry's ("ATSDR") Web site at www.atsdr.cdc.gov. The ATSDR is part of the Centers for Disease Control ("CDC"). The Michigan Department of Community Health recently studied the effects of these metals in groundwater elsewhere in Michigan and can provide additional information.
Reports published in 2008 and 2009 pertaining to the mill scale found on-site revealed that substances such as iron and molybdenum were present in the scale. Working with the MDEQ, MST developed site-specific particulate soil inhalation criteria for these substances that are designed to protect MST's employees working on site. In August, 2010, the MDEQ issued a letter to MST noting that site soil and mill scale were not a threat to human health.
If you have any additional questions for us about this sampling, please email them to Donna Moyer at email@example.com.