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Wash King Laundry Superfund Site

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Teresa Jones (jones.teresa@epa.gov)
312-886-0725 or 800-621-8431, ext. 60725

Remedial Project Manager
Shari Kolak (kolak.shari@epa.gov)
312-886-6151 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66151


(where to view written records)

Pathfinder Community Library
812 Michigan Avenue
Baldwin, Michigan 49304


Wash King Laundry (WKL) was a small, privately-owned laundromat in operation from 1962 until 1991 when the owner declared bankruptcy. Beginning in 1962, the WKL discharged laundry wastes (detergent and bleach) to four nearby seepage lagoons located immediately west of South Oakland Street, about 500 feet west of the laundry facility.  Spent dry cleaning solvent PCE--Perchloroethene or Tetrachloroethene--was discharged to the lagoons during the 1970s. All dry cleaning operations ceased in 1978, but detergent laundry operations continued.

The site is located approximately three miles south of the city of Baldwin in Pleasant Plains Township, Lake County, Michigan, in the Pere Marquette River Basin, which provides drainage for a 682 square-mile area. The current boundaries of the site are generally defined by the Middle Branch of the Pere Marquette River to the north; Star Lake Road (76th Street) to the south; by the C&O Railroad to the west; and, by an imaginary line approximately 300 feet east of Highway M-37 on the east. The former WKL building has been razed.

The WKL site was placed on the NPL of Superfund sites in 1983. During the period of 1982 through 1986, the EPA performed four major removal actions at the site. The primary remedies included the installation of Pump and Treat (P&T) wells to capture and treat contaminated groundwater, in an effort to restore the aquifer. Deed restrictions and monitoring were also identified as part of the selected remedy to prevent exposures to contaminated ground water. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is the lead agency for this site.

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Site Updates

May 2012 Update

The EPA conducted its most recent five-year review in 2011.  The P&T remedy was subsequently augmented through the installation of additional extraction wells that provide better control and capture of groundwater contamination.  The groundwater monitoring network of wells was supplemented to include locations that can be utilized to evaluate remedy performance.  Thus, the remedy is considered to be protective of human health and the environment in the short-term.  Long-term protectiveness will be achieved once the pump and treat system reaches cleanup goals in the groundwater. A determination of the need for Institutional Controls (ICs) shall be undertaken to ensure long- term protectiveness for the groundwater.

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