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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 by the prior owners 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 Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (“EGLE”) (formerly the MDEQ) 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 at elevated levels in groundwater in this area, levels have been detected at the facility that exceed certain EGLE screening criteria, which are the levels at which EGLE 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 EGLE’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.

 

Since naturally occurring iron levels in the groundwater in Livingston County are known to be elevated and variable, MST consulted with EGLE and the Livingston County Department of Public Health (“LCDPH”).  LCDPH representatives indicated that the iron levels detected on the MST property were lower than some of the naturally occurring iron levels observed throughout the county and that the off- site levels to the west of MST are consistent with county-wide iron levels.  LCDPH also acknowledged that while not required by Livingston County, many county residents have opted to install water treatment systems to address the taste and discoloration associated with the water.  Based on this information, EGLE determined that there is no discernable iron impact off-site attributable to MST.

 

In addition, MST identified certain metals that are present in the groundwater that has migrated past the southern boundary of the MST property in concentrations that are above the Michigan drinking water standards.  Six parcels are affected by this impacted groundwater.  Properties south of MST, including these six parcels, are served by municipal water and there are no groundwater wells in this area.  To ensure that no one drinks this water, however, MST, in consultation with EGLE, has proposed to prohibit the use of groundwater at the affected parcels.  MST is working with the City of South Lyon to adopt a groundwater use ordinance that would prevent the installation of any groundwater extraction wells.  MST also has appeared before the City Council to answer questions regarding conditions at MST, the quality of the area groundwater and the proposed ordinance.    

 

MST continues to work with EGLE to address historical impacts at its facility.  Copies of final reports submitted to EGLE are available at the South Lyon Public Library.

 

If you have any additional questions for us about these issues, please email them to Matt Bell at mbell@mstube.com.

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