SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team has confirmed elevated levels of the “forever chemicals” have been found in South Haven.
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said testing from the former Four Star Property on Kalamazoo Street confirmed PFAS levels are well above the state’s safety standards.
EGLE collected 12 soil samples, 11 groundwater samples and one surface water sample from around the property in late October. The results came in Nov. 15, 2022, showing eight of the 11 groundwater samples exceeded safety standards, including one that showed 3,100 parts per trillion — well above the threshold of 16 ppt. The surface water sample taken from a nearby creek showed 551 ppt — above the safety threshold of 12 ppt.
According to MPART, there are some residential drinking wells about a quarter-mile northeast of the former Four Star Property in South Haven Township. The state’s Department of Health and Human Services and local officials are “evaluating nearby residential wells to determine if any sampling is needed.”
The former Four Star Property, 1391 Kalamazoo Street, is less than a mile away from Lake Michigan. The groundwater from the site flows west, entering a nearby unnamed creek that winds through an industrial and a residential neighborhood before flowing into the lake.
The facility was used for nickel plating under different owners from 1964 through 1983. The site has been investigated and remediated for other pollutants under the Brownfield Redevelopment and Financing Act.
A spokesperson for EGLE says the property is currently owned by the city of South Haven and that they are aware of all actions on the property. The spokesperson said it is EGLE policy and procedure to first notify local officials about any contamination findings. South Haven City Manager Kate Hosier confirmed with News 8 that her office has been in contact with EGLE and had a meeting last Friday to discuss the findings.
EGLE has funding in place to further evaluate the contamination and plans to hire a contractor to determine the extent of the pollution this spring and plans to install monitors to test groundwater, surface water and storm sewer wells.
Hosier also clarified that all tests done at the municipal water system show no traces or levels below the state’s safety standards.