Read the full article by Ron Fonger

“The most recent testing at the former Buick City site shows elevated levels of PFOA or PFOS aren’t only in storm sewers on the 400-acre property, but in sanitary sewers as well.

Four of five sampling locations tested in mid-December showed elevated levels of one — or both — of the compounds, adding to evidence of widespread contamination that will require further sampling and investigation of connections to the sanitary sewers.

‘We have reported these results to the U.S. (Environmental Protection Agency) and (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality),’ the RACER Trust says in a posting on its web site.

RACER manages the old Buick property, which was abandoned by General Motors during its bankruptcy proceedings a decade ago. The court-created trust is charged with cleaning up and selling off the real estate for redevelopment, but sales have been put on hold until the scope of PFAS contamination is better defined.

In November, RACER held community meetings to discuss its finding to date.

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS and many other chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries in the United States since the 1940s, according to EPA.

Although there are few regulations to stop the spread of PFAS, either from the federal or state government, Michigan’s rule for water quality specifically limiting PFOS to 12-parts per trillion — is one of them.

RACER’s web posting says the most recent water samples were collected Dec. 17 from five locations in the sanitary sewer that flows east along Hamilton Avenue and then combines with the sanitary main from James P Cole Boulevard.

Concentrations of PFOA ranged from zero to 2,280 ng/L, and PFOS results ranged from zero to 27,580 ng/L — nearly twice the level as the highest previous testing of groundwater in the area.

Both the groundwater and sanitary sewer tests showed high results near a former paint shop, north of the new Lear Corp. plant.

Testing for a range of per- and poly-fluorinated compounds started last year at the Buick complex, which GM fully closed in 2010…”