Muskegon Sediment Cleanup Scheme Wrapped Up

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced the completion of a $16 million sediment cleanup at the former Zephyr Oil Refinery in Muskegon Township, Mich.

Image source: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Work was funded through a cost-sharing partnership with the state of Michigan under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

EPA Great Lakes National Program Office Director Chris Korleski joined Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Chief Deputy Director Aaron Keatley, Michigan Office of the Great Lakes Director Jon W. Allan, local elected officials and members of the community yesterday at the project site at 1222 Holton Road to mark this milestone.

Commenting the latest news, EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp, said: “The success of this cleanup would not have been possible without a tremendous partnership with the state of Michigan and the local community.”

 “The cleanup efforts to restore this once blighted site are the result of dedicated partnerships and collaboration on the local, state and federal levels,” added MDEQ Chief Deputy Director Aaron Keatley. “Success stories, like the Zephyr remediation, are a testament to what can be accomplished by working together to return our environment to productive use; therefore, making our communities safer, healthier and more viable.” 

The former Zephyr Oil Refinery is in western Michigan’s Muskegon Lake Area of Concern (AOC), which the United States and Canada identified as one of 43 toxic hotspots in the Great Lakes basin. Lead and petroleum releases from the refinery contaminated sediment along Muskegon Lake.

During the cleanup, approximately 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment were excavated from wetlands and a former fire suppression ditch.