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Contaminated Sites

Sites of Environmental Contamination

Sites of environmental contamination are areas known to be contaminated with any one of a combination of hazardous substances that either are or may be injurious to human health or the environment. These substances may include industrial or municipal wastes, pesticides, solvents, and other organic chemicals and heavy metals. It is important to know the number of contaminated sites in the watershed because these contaminants may be carried to the Rouge River through the water cycle.

These sites of environmental contamination are addressed by various programs of the Remediation and Redevelopment Division (RRD) of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The RRD administers Part 201, Environmental Remediation, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 Public Act 451, as amended, (formerly known as Act 307) and portions of the federal Superfund program established under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Within these programs, the RRD conducts and oversees investigations and cleanup activities at contaminated sites throughout the state. The RRD reviews and approves site cleanup plans and oversees the cleanup process at many cleanups performed by private parties.

To encourage and facilitate the redevelopment of contaminated urban sites, the RRD provides a wide range of site redevelopment services. Services include grant and loan funding for local units of government for investigations and cleanup actions, site re-use consultation, generic cleanup options based on future land use, and provisions to protect innocent parties from liability for pre-existing contamination, including review of baseline environmental assessments and due care plans. To obtain more information about the RRD programs please click here to go to their web site.

MDEQ has many interactive and data driven lists that can be accessed by clicking on the following: Environmental Online Services. These online lists will show locations of such things as the Part 201 hazardous waste sites, leaking underground storage tanks, hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in Michigan and their status, Superfund sites, etc. These lists, available by county, are kept current by MDEQ and therefore provide the latest available information.

Newburgh Lake was one of the largest known contaminated sites in the Rouge River watershed. The contaminated sediment, which contained PCBs and metals, was removed from the site. Sampling of fish in Newburgh Lake in 2003 by MDEQ resulted in the lifting of the PCB fish consumption ban for the general public for carp, channel catfish and largemouth bass for fish caught in Newburgh Lake. Additional information on the Newburgh Lake remediation can be found at Newburgh Lake Restoration section and Restoration of an Urban Lake: The Newburgh Lake Project.

The technical memorandum "A Summary of Waste Disposal Sites in the Rouge River Watershed" is a summary of data on waste disposal sites along the Rouge River in Wayne and Oakland counties. A total of 112 active and inactive landfills and dumps were located.

Additional information specific to abandoned dump sites is available on this website at Other Technical Information/Leachate from Abandoned Dump Sites.

Contaminated Sites

Last Updated: 6/21/2004

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The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project is funded, in part, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants #XP995743-01, -02, -03, -04, -05, -06, -07 and C-264000-01.