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Auto Ion Chemicals Inc.

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Cheryl Allen (allen.cheryl@epa.gov)
312-353-6196 or 800-621-8431, ext. 36196

Remedial Project Manager
Timothy Drexler (drexler.timothy@epa.gov)
312-353-4367 or 800-621-8431, ext. 34367


(where to view written records)

Kalamazoo Public Library
315 S. Rose St.
Kalamazoo, Michigan


The Auto Ion Chemicals Inc. Superfund (Auto Ion) site is a 1.5-acre parcel of land located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The site is in a light industrial area and is bordered by the Kalamazoo River along its southern edge. The property was originally used as an electrical generating station by the City of Kalamazoo from sometime during the 1940s until 1956. From 1964 to 1973, Auto Ion Chemicals operated a treatment facility for electroplating waste at the site. Wastewater was discharged to the sanitary sewer, and sludges were disposed of in an on-site lagoon. Poor storage and waste handling practices resulted in numerous spills onto surface soil and within the basement of the facility building, and several unpermtted discharges to the Kalamazoo River and city sewers were documented. In 1973, the Auto Ion facility ceased operations after its license to transport, store, and treat liquid industrial waste was not renewed by the State. Contaminants of concern at the site are heavy metals associated with electroplating waste, such as cadmium, chromium, nickel and zinc, and two volatile organic compounds.

In 1982, USEPA proposed the Auto Ion site for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL), and in 1983 the Auto Ion site was officially placed on the NPL and designated a Superfund site.

In 1985, USEPA oversaw a removal action at the site. Surface debris, sludges, and containerized wastes were removed from the site and a fence was erected. The City of Kalamazoo razed the on-site building in 1986.

The 1989 Record of Decision (ROD) addressed the first operable unit at the site which was the contaminated soil that was the source of groundwater contamination. The remedy selected for the first operable unit included excavation of soil on portions of the site and off-site disposal. Treatment of the excavated soil, if necessary, was done prior to transporting it off-site. During this remedial action, which was completed in 1993, over 24,000 tons of soil were removed from the site.

The second operable unit, groundwater contamination, was addressed in a ROD completed in 1994. The selected remedy required institutional controls to limit groundwater use and the development of a groundwater monitoring plan using alternate concentration limits and a contingency plan for determining whether any additional actions needed to be taken.

Site Updates | Latest Update || Technical Documents || Five-Year Reviews || Legal Agreements || Public Meetings

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Site Updates

Latest Update

Two 5-Year Reviews have been conducted at the site since the remedy was implemented, in 2001 and 2006. The 2006 5-Year Review concluded that remedy for the Auto Ion site is protective in the short term. The potential human health exposure risks due to ingestion of, inhalation of, or dermal contact with soil have been addressed, and the groundwater is being monitored to ensure the remedy remains protective. However, to ensure that the remedy is protective in the long term, institutional controls to limit future use of groundwater at the site are needed. There are currently no deed or other type of restrictions on the property.

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Legal Agreements

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