RACER Trust Update, Proposed Remediation Plans Headed to MDEQ

Brief Status Report The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust is working to clean up and redevelop Plants 2, 3 (both in Lansing Township) and 6 (in the City of Lansing. Below is an status report on its work.

  • Remedial plan for environmental cleanup at Plants 2 and 6 will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in June.
  • Remedial plan for environmental cleanup at Plant 3 to be submitted later this summer.
  • Initial MDEQ review to be completed in September.
  • $18.6 million allocated for cleanup is expected to be sufficient for environmental remediation.
  • Construction debris left behind by RACER’s predecessor has been removed.
  • The Michigan Avenue Fence has been replaced in Lansing Township.
  • RACER is committed to ongoing maintenance, including lawn mowing along the sidewalks.

More Information

On Thursday, June 6, officials from RACER Trust, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), City of Lansing and Lansing Township updated Westside Neighborhood residents regarding the work taking place at the RACER-owned sites in Lansing and Lansing Township that were formerly owned by General Motors.

Residents were briefed on RACER’s proposed remedial plans for environmental cleanup that are being submitted this month to the MDEQ for the parcel south of Saginaw Street along Rosemary Street in Lansing Township (Plant 2), the Verlinden Avenue parcel in the City of Lansing (Plant 6), and Plant 3 on the north side of Saginaw in Lansing Township.

At press time, RACER’s remedial plans were still being finalized but officials explained that they call for some excavation of contaminated soils and a deed restriction to contain any groundwater contamination.  That restriction would demand that that the cement slabs remain in place.

Grant Trigger, RACER’s Environmental Cleanup Manager for Michigan, emphasized that the Trust’s investigation shows the sites pose no public health threat to the community.

The MDEQ is scheduled to review RACER’s plans this summer and if found acceptable, they should receive initial state approval in September.  Once initial approval is granted the remedial work can begin even though the MDEQ will be monitoring the site for another two to three years to make certain there are no changes in the environmental conditions at the sites.

In addition to discussing the remedial plans, RACER updated residents on site maintenance and efforts to market the sites for redevelopment.

RACER is required, among other things, to sell or lease their properties with the objective that they be put to productive or beneficial use. Under the Settlement Agreement, the Trust will consider all of the following six criteria:

  1. Whether the monetary value of the purchase price is sufficient in light of the projected budget for the sale of that property;’
  2. The potential for job creation in the state and the affected community;
  3. Other benefits to the state and affected communities (such as increasing tax revenue, reducing blight, and providing a sense of renewal);
  4. Avoiding a material increase in the cost of, or interference with the environmental action;
  5. Views of the state and affected communities; and,
  6. The reputation and credibility of the prospective buyer/lessee.

April-December 2012 Site Activities, Plants 2, 3, and 6

As part of the Phase II Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) completed between April and Decemer 2012, the following activities were completed:

Installation of:

6 bedrock monitoring wells

15 shallow monitoring wells

11 light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) monitoring wells

Completion of:

81 Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) borings

52 vertical aquifer profile (VAP) and/or Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT) borings

310 shallow soil borings

Installation of 4 soil gas monitoring points.

Collection of:

1,257 soil samples

221 groundwater samples (excluding routine groundwater monitoring samples)

2013 Site Activities, Plants 2, 3, and 6

As part of the follow-up investigation to the Phase II RFI, including the 1,4-dioxane investigation at Plant 3 and utility corridor investigation south of Plant 6, the following activities have been completed:

  • Installation of 1 bedrock monitoring well and 8 deep overburden monitoring wells
  • Completion of 9 shallow soil borings
  • Collection of 25 groundwater samples

2013 CMS Remediation Strategies, Plants 2, 3, and 6

After assessing the information from the site investigation and considering various alternatives, the proposed final corrective measures alternative for the Site is:

  • Land Use Restrictions: Limit future use of the entire site to commercial and/or industrial land use, requiring site-wide contaminated soil management, incorporating site-wide vapor exposure restrictions, and health and safety requirements for intrusive activities.
  • Groundwater Use Restrictions: Prohibit the use of groundwater for consumption, irrigation, or any other purpose with the exception of short-term dewatering for construction purposes.
  • Monitored Plume Stability: Implement a site-wide groundwater monitoring program to confirm plume stability. Preserve the existing building slabs to minimize infiltration and to avoid a change in current conditions. This will maximize the likelihood the groundwater plume will remain stable and on site.
  • Clean Cover/Caps: Utilize clean cover/caps to reduce the potential for exposure to soils exceeding Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Direct Contact (DC) and PSIC Criteria, and to mitigate risks associated with LNAPL exposure. Existing building slabs, existing cover (e.g. existing soil, gravel, concrete, or asphalt), or placement of clean soil will be used as a cover/cap.

Further Investigation/Evaluation

  • Bedrock monitoring well sampling and definition of metals issues
  • Characterization and definition of 1,4-dioxane on Plant 3

RACER plans to brief the WNA in the fall on the status of its ongoing work.  Residents who would like an executive summary or full copy of RACER’s remedial plan (as submitted to the MDEQ) may contact Grant Trigger at gtrigger@racertrust.org