Community Information

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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 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 at elevated levels in groundwater in this area, levels have been detected at the facility that exceed certain MDEQ screening criteria, which are the levels at which the 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.

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. Based on testing from 2008 and 2009, elevated concentrations of iron and manganese were detected in the groundwater samples collected west of Dixboro Road. To help us narrow down where these substances might be located, MST also sampled water from several residential drinking water wells in the Greenock Hills and Pheasant Lake subdivisions in 2008 and 2013. These 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; however, higher levels of these metals than those detected 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 two samples at levels well below all applicable screening criteria).

In 2009, MST installed additional 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.

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 was completed in 2012. The MDEQ-approved reports on the results of the 2008, 2009 and 2012 testing are available in the Salem-South Lyon District Library.

In February of 2013, MST’s consultants conducted a second neighborhood survey of water softening equipment to verify that all homes have this equipment installed, and they also sampled the water at select houses that requested sampling.

MST now has completed investigation of conditions at its property and in the neighborhood and is finalizing a plan with MDEQ to monitor conditions in the future. MST will continue to work with MDEQ and keep the community informed.

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.

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