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Latest Results of PFAS Sampling, Former GM Buick City Property

 

Samples collected in late June or early July from storm sewers that pass through the former GM Buick City property and discharge to the Flint River detected PFAS in concentrations above State of Michigan criteria at several locations. 

These results, along with plans for additional sampling and other remedial activities at Buick City, will be discussed during a community meeting hosted by RACER Trust that is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13, at Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, 930 E. Myrtle Ave., Flint.
 
The meeting is open to the public. Representatives from the Michigan Department
of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; the U.S. EPA; and state and county health
departments are expected to attend and be available to answer questions as well.
 
Sampling locations and results are described in the document linked below. Results from the most recent sampling are presented in data boxes with gray shading.
 
PFAS Short-Term Water Characterization Sample Results Update

 

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RACER Trust to Host Community Meeting on Buick City Environmental Cleanup


RACER Trust will host a community meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13, at Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, 930 E. Myrtle Ave., Flint, to provide information about environmental cleanup activities at the former GM Buick City property, including work to identify and address PFAS impacts at the property.

The meeting is open to the public. Representatives from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; the U.S. EPA; and state and county health departments are expected to attend and be available to answer questions as well.

The meeting will begin with a brief RACER Trust presentation. Following the presentation, small group discussions will give citizens an opportunity to ask questions of state and local officials and RACER in a more informal manner. A summary session will conclude the meeting.

RACER is hosting a bus tour of the former GM Buick City property prior to the community meeting. Seating is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached. You must RSVP if you would like to join the bus tour, which will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13. To RSVP, send an email to Bill Callen at bcallen@racertrust.org, or call (855) 722-3741, no later than 5 p.m. Friday, August 9. No RSVPs will be accepted after 5 p.m. August 9. A seat on the bus is the only way for the public to visit the property. The bus will pick up and discharge passengers from the parking lot of Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle.

For more information about the community meeting or bus tour, please call (855) 722-3741. 

            What:              RACER Trust Community Meeting

            When*:           6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13

            Where:            Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle

                                     930 E. Myrtle Avenue (at Industrial)

                                     Flint

*Bus tour for confirmed passengers 4:30-6 p.m.


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RACER Submits Short-Term Characterization Study of PFAS Discharges

 

RACER Trust has submitted to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) a short-term characterization study of discharges of PFAS to the Flint River from storm water outfalls associated with the former GM Buick City property.     
The report presents a summary of sampling conducted from November 2018 to June 2019 and includes the results from the most recent samples collected on June 5, 2019.   

RACER has drafted and submitted to EGLE a work plan to expand the site investigation work, including more sampling to better define site conditions and evaluate possible means to reduce or eliminate PFAS releases to the Flint River.      

A community update meeting to discuss environmental conditions at Buick City is in the process of being scheduled, likely in August. RACER will post details to this web page and notify local stakeholders when the meeting time, date and location are confirmed.   

 The short-term characterization study and RACER’s memo to EGLE can be found at the link below:

https://www.racertrust.org/files/RACER Buick City Short Term Characterization Study 2019.07.15.pdf 


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Sampling Results Further Delineate PFAS Impacts at Buick City

RACER Trust collected samples during both dry and wet conditions from two storm sewer outfalls to the Flint River that carry water from RACER’s Buick City property, among other contributors. A third storm sewer outfall was sampled under wet conditions only because it had no flow during dry conditions.

The samples were analyzed for PFOA and PFOS, and the results were reported to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Wet-weather samples were collected from seven additional storm sewer locations on June 5. These samples are undergoing laboratory analysis, also for PFOA and PFOS. Results will be reported and posted online after the analyses are complete.

A memo summarizing the results of the April 2019 sampling, as well as describing locations of the June 5 sampling, can be found at the link below.

Outfall 001 005A and 006 Data Evaluation Memo

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Results of April Flint River Outfall Sampling

RACER Trust in April collected storm water samples from two outfalls where they discharge to the Flint River. These samples were analyzed and the results are posted in the link below, which also describes the sampling locations, as well as relevant site conditions and historical data.

Outfall 001 and 006 Data Evaluation Memo

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Sampling Results Further Delineate PFAS Impacts at Buick City

Results of water samples collected in February from three storm drain systems at RACER Trust’s Buick City property detected PFAS in each of the three outfall drainage areas, at concentrations ranging from 8 ng/L (or 8 parts per trillion) to 2,000 ng/L. Further investigation is ongoing to determine the source of the PFAS in the outfall drainage areas and define an appropriate solution.

There is no indication that any drinking water sources are or have been impacted by PFAS originating from Buick City. It is believed that materials containing PFAS were used by General Motors in its vehicle manufacturing and finishing processes.

Click below to view and download the report RACER Trust submitted to the U.S. EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Buick City Outfall Investigation Memo, April 15, 2019

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Materials for March 14 public meeting

RACER Trust held a public meeting on Thursday, March 14, to discuss environmental activities at its Buick City property in Flint. Materials presented at the meeting can be reviewed or downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Buick City Overview Fact Sheet
Buick City PFAS Investigations Fact Sheet
Buick City Overview PowerPoint

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RACER Trust to Hold Community Update Meeting on March 14

RACER Trust will hold a public information meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, to provide the community with an update on our environmental activities at Buick City. This update will include discussion about our most recent test results for PFAS.  

The meeting will be held at the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, 930 E. Myrtle Ave., Flint.
RACER Trust Michigan Cleanup Manager Grant Trigger and members of the Buick City remedial team will provide an overview of recent and planned activities at Buick City and answer questions. Personnel from  the U.S. EPA, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and state and local health officials who oversee RACER’s work will be present as well.

RACER Trust recently has excavated contaminated soils at the Property and trucked the material offsite for disposal in permitted landfills. The excavations were continuously monitored, as were the trucks as they were loaded and traveled offsite to ensure that all materials were properly managed.

Approximately 2,600 tons of impacted material were removed and completed excavation areas have been properly backfilled.

 

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Results of December Sanitary Sewer Sampling


RACER Trust collected water samples 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 in the City of Flint. The purpose was to further assess the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) impacts identified in the sanitary sewers in the vicinity of RACER Trust’s Buick City Property.
 
Five locations were sampled on December 17. Laboratory analysis found elevated levels of PFOA and/or PFOS on four of the five sampling locations.
 
Further sampling and investigation of connections to the sanitary sewer will be necessary.
 
We have reported these results to the U.S. EPA and MDEQ.
 
Buick City Sanitary Sewer Update

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Results of storm water sampling, 2011 to present

In response to a citizen inquiry, RACER Trust has posted data for the storm water samples collected in accordance with the terms of RACER Trust's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit since 2011 at its Buick City Property. Links to the reports submitting the sampling results are posted below. The analytical results from these reports are compiled in Buick City Dry Weather Storm Sewer Sampling Data 2011-2018 and Buick City Wet Weather Stormwater Sampling Data 2011-2018 along with the available data from 2018, as the 2018 reports have not yet been generated.


Please note: The results below are for samples RACER Trust has collected since assuming ownership of the Property in 2011. Results from sampling prior to RACER Trust’s ownership can be obtained by filing a public information request with the U.S. EPA or the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Additional environmental reports related to Buick City can be found at https://www.racertrust.org/Properties/Detail?Id=12950

Storm Water Sampling Results

2011 Annual PMP Report 050712
2012 Annual PMP Report 041813
2013 Annual PMP Report 04162014
2014 Annual PMP Report_05142015
2015 Annual PMP Report_05132016
2016 Annual PMP Report_05122017
2017 Annual PMP Report_051418
RACER Buick City 2011 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report-050912
RACER Buick City 2012 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report_05152013
RACER Buick City 2013 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report_041614
RACER Buick City 2014 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report_05142015
RACER Buick City 2015 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report 051316
RACER Buick City 2016 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report_05122017
RACER Buick City 2017 Yearly Trend Monitoring Report_051418
Buick City Dry Weather Storm Sewer Sampling Data 2011-2018
Buick City Wet Weather Stormwater Sampling Data 2011-2018


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Update: Results of November groundwater and storm water sampling for PFAS

RACER Trust collected groundwater and storm water samples in November at several locations on and adjacent to the Buick City Property and at storm sewer manholes and outfalls to the Flint River to further characterize the presence of PFAS at Buick City. The results are presented below, along with links to figures showing where the samples were collected (boxes within the figures show PFAS concentrations at each sampling location). Figure 1 corresponds to the groundwater sampling. Figure 2 corresponds to the storm sewer sampling. Please note: This summary discusses only the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) results; however, the 24 PFAS analytes included on the Michigan PFAS Minimum Laboratory Analyte List were analyzed. Also, there is no evidence to suggest the municipal water system or private wells have been impacted. The sampled outfalls are downstream from the river’s municipal water intake. Groundwater samples were collected from 14 monitoring wells on the Buick City Property. In addition, storm water samples were collected from 10 locations in what is known as Outfall Drainage Area 003 and at four locations in Outfall Drainage Area 005. The storm water collections were prompted by the discovery in October 2018 of PFAS in a portion of the Outfall Drainage Area 003 storm sewer.
While the Buick City site contributes storm water to each of these outfalls, RACER Trust does not own or control either outfall. Storm water passing through Buick City comingles with storm water from multiple offsite sources and locations. 

It is also important to put the site conditions in perspective. Outfall Drainage Area 003 drains more than 400 acres, only about 87 acres of which (or about 21%) are part of the Buick City Property. It is also uncertain where and what, if any, sources on the Buick City site may be contributing to the PFAS in the storm sewer, given that well over a mile and a quarter of storm sewer passes from the City of Flint on the west through the site and offsite to the Flint River to the east.  
It is clear from the work performed so far that the site conditions are complicated and no single distinct source of PFAS has been identified – which, as we are learning, is not uncommon. Further work and time is required to adequately understand the PFAS conditions and to define an appropriate course of action.

RACER Trust, working under the oversight of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. EPA, will continue to evaluate data and site conditions with the goal of identifying the next logical locations for the collection of additional data.

Groundwater Sampling Results

The groundwater sampling results are presented on Figure 1 below. The results of the sampling and recommendation for each area are summarized below.

• Northend — Firefighting Training Area (FTA): One off-site monitoring well (MW-10-27) located downgradient of the FTA was sampled. The analytical results did not detect PFOS. PFOA was detected at a concentration of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L). The sample from MW-10-27 is below applicable criteria.

• Southend — Factory 84 Area: Eight monitoring wells were sampled at the Factory 84 Area. Five monitoring wells (RFI-09-08, MW-84-01D, MW-84-02D, MW-84-03D, and MW-84-04D) are located on the Buick City Property adjacent to the Flint River; three (RFI-84-05, RFI-84-11S, RFI-40-07) are between the CSX right-of-way and James P. Cole Boulevard. 

Adjacent to the Flint River:

• At the southernmost monitoring well (RFI-09-48), the analytical results did not detect PFOS. PFOA was detected  at a concentration of 20 ng/L.
• Monitoring wells MW-08-01D, MW-84-02D, MW-84-03D, and MW-84-04D detected PFOS at concentrations ranging from 400 to 1,150 ng/L, with PFOA concentrations ranging from 60 to 100 ng/L.

Between CSX right-of-way and James P. Cole Boulevard:

• At monitoring well RFI-84-05, neither PFOA nor PFOS was detected.
• At monitoring well RFI-84-11S, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 90 ng/L. PFOA was not detected.
• At monitoring well RFI-40-07, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 550 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a concentration of 50 ng/L

Southend — Former Building 44 Assembly Paint Shop: Two monitoring wells near the former Building 44 Assembly Paint Shop (Bldg 44) were sampled (MW-04-01 and MW-04-02). At monitoring well MW-04-01, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 250 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a concentration of 40 ng/L. At monitoring well MW-04-02, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 990 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a concentration of 50 ng/L.

Southend — Pickling and Enameling Area: Three monitoring wells (RFI-23-01R, RFI-12-14R and RFI-12-40) were sampled at the Pickling and Enameling Area. At monitoring well RFI-23-01R,  PFOS was detected at a concentration of 10 ng/L. PFOA was not detected. At monitoring well MW-12-14R, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 20 ng/L. PFOA was not detected. At monitoring well MW-12-40, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 10 ng/L. PFOA was not detected.

FIGURE 1 

Storm Sewer Sampling Results

As referenced above, a total of 14 storm water samples were collected, including at outfalls to the Flint River, both downstream from the public water intake.

• Outfall Sample Results: Samples were collected from both Outfall 003 and Outfall 005 where they discharge to the Flint River. At Outfall 003, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 120 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a concentration of 10 ng/L. Please note that on the day the samples were collected, a truck not affiliated with RACER Trust or its contractors was observed discharging water to a storm sewer manhole. It is not known whether this would affect sample results. At Outfall 005, PFOS was detected at a concentration of 50 ng/L. PFOA was not
detected.

• Outfall Drainage Area 003 Storm Sewer: Samples were collected from nine manholes (MH 3-6, MH 3-18, MH 3-25-7,MH 3-28-4, MH 3-32-1-1, MH 3-32-2, MH3-32-2-1, MH 3-38, and MH 3-52) within the Outfall Drainage Area 003 storm sewer. Results were as follows:

— MH 3-6: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 90 ng/L. PFOA was not detected.
— MH 3-18: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 130 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a
concentration of 20 ng/L.
— MH 3-25-7: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 10 ng/L. PFOA was not detected.
— MH 3-28-4: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 10 ng/L. PFOA was not detected.
— MH 3-32-1-1: Neither PFOS nor PFOA was detected.
— MH 3-32-2: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 30 ng/L. PFOA was not detected.
— MH 3-32-1-2: Neither PFOS nor PFOA was detected.
  — MH 3-38: Neither PFOS nor PFOA was detected.
  — MH 3-52 Neither PFOS nor PFOA was detected.

• Outfall Drainage Area 005 Storm Sewer: Samples were collected from three manholes (MH 5-1, MH 5-4, and MH5-6) within the Outfall Drainage Area 005 storm sewer. Results were as follows:

— MH 5-1: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 60 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a
concentration of 10 ng/L.
— MH 5-4: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 60 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a
concentration of 10 ng/L.
— MH 5-6: PFOS was detected at a concentration of 70 ng/L. PFOA was detected at a
concentration of 20 ng/L.

FIGURE 2 

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Update: RACER Responds to Information Requests

During and immediately after RACER Trust’s November 14-15 community meetings in Flint, we received questions about environmental conditions on portions of the Buick City Property that have been sold and also about other site-specific reports and data that have been submitted to the U.S. EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

We have summarized the questions and provided links to relevant documents below. All of the documents also can be accessed and downloaded from this link: https://www.racertrust.org/Properties/Detail?Id=12950, under the category Associated Files.

We will continue to post information in response to inquiries or as it becomes available.

Question 1: What sort of historical environmental data are available for the portion of Buick City now owned and occupied by Lear Corporation?

Information for the Lear Property can be found in the following documents:

• Buick City Building 09 Area Document Summary Memo_080217.pdf
• Buick City – Former Admin Bldg No. 1 Investigation Report 052417.pdf
• RACER Buick City – SE Historic Use Investigation RTC_071317.pdf


A map of 2017 Southend groundwater sampling locations can be found here.

Question 2: What sort of historical environmental data are available for the portion of Buick City now owned and occupied by American Spiralweld Pipe?


Information for the American Spiralweld Pipe Property can be found in the following documents:

• Buick City Northern Parcel Summary Memo 120413.pdf
• RACER Buick City Manganese Excavation Documentation Memo_FINAL_reduced.pdf
• Buick City Outfall Bulkhead Work Plan Add #3 Final.pdf

A map of 2017 Northend groundwater sampling locations can be found here.

Question 3: Where can Buick City groundwater monitoring data be found?

Site groundwater data from 2011 through 2017 can be found in the following documents:

• 2011: Section 3.2 of 2011 Corrective Measures Implementation Annual – 12950 Buick City- 2012 0402.pdf
• 2012: Section 3.2 of 2012 CMI Annual Report_032913_F.pdf
• 2013: Section 3.2 of RACER Buick City 2013 CMI Annual Report 08282014 Complete.pdf
• 2014:  2014 Annual Groundwater Monitoring Report_072215.pdf
• 2015: 2015 Annual Groundwater Monitoring Memo_090116-F.pdf
• 2016: 2016 Annual Groundwater Monitoring Memo_092617.pdf
• 2017: RACER Buick City 2017 GW Sample Data_120218.pdf

Question 4: Where can Buick City storm sewer monitoring data be found?

Results from samples collected from storm sewers at Buick City, as well as work performed within certain on-site drainage areas, can be found in Summary Memo_113018.pdf. Please note: RACER Trust has continued to collect samples from storm sewers and expects to post additional information shortly. 

Question 5: How is RACER Trust handing PCB-impacted soils at Buick City?

Work to excavate and remove PCB-contaminated soils began the week of December 10, 2018. Originally, we had hoped to complete this work before Christmas but we now expect it may continue into the new year after an interruption for the holidays. The excavation work is continuously monitored, and inspected, and the work has not created any dust. To date, over 400 tons of impacted soils have been hauled offsite for disposal at permitted facilities — either US Ecology’s landfill near Willow Run Airport in Wayne County (for soil with PCB concentrations greater than 50 parts per million) or Brent Run Landfill in Montrose, Genesee County (for soils with PCB concentrations less than 50 parts per million). All trucks are covered and sealed to prevent any leak or spills and are inspected before they leave the site.  

The trucks are monitored during loading and as they travel offsite to make sure that no material is tracked off the site. Each truck must have a record showing where it picked up its load and where it is unloaded. RACER Trust keeps these records, called manifests, and is required to prove with these records that the materials were disposed of properly.

Buick City Community Meeting Materials


RACER Trust hosted community update meetings on Wednesday, November 14, and Thursday, November 15, 2018, in Flint to provide information on the status of environmental work at RACER’s Buick City property. Materials presented at the meetings can be viewed and downloaded from this page. We will continue to provide information in response to inquiries or as it becomes available.