CHICAGO (November 23, 2021) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced MSC Land Company LLC has completed a $20 million cleanup of the southern portion of the former McLouth Steel site in Trenton, Michigan. Work was completed with EPA oversight under a settlement agreement between EPA, U.S. Department of Justice, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and MSC. As a non-liable party, the settlement clarified MSC’s cleanup responsibilities and will foster redevelopment of the former steel mill site.

“The cleanup of this contaminated site is cause for celebration by the residents of Trenton,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “The work by EPA and other partners demonstrates what government can accomplish to spur redevelopment and economic growth for the benefit of the community.”

“This milestone is a significant step forward in moving a formerly contaminated property from hazard to a community asset,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “It’s gratifying to see this property restored and legacy pollutants addressed.”

“Cleanup being completed at the southern portion of the former McLouth Steel site in Trenton is very welcome news. I’m pleased the community can continue working toward redevelopment and investing in their long-term economic success,” said Sen. Gary Peters. “I’m committed to ensuring that Trenton can keep focusing on the future and applaud the EPA’s work to help make this possible.”

“For over 20 years, the McLouth Steel plant laid bare in our community – a hazard to our environment and a threat to critical drinking water sources with no plan in place to clean it up. We worked across all sectors to secure a cleanup agreement – before the demolition of McLouth Steel – for the safety of our communities, so everyone has clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean land free of toxins,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell. “There’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure adequate cleanup of this site, but this portion of the cleanup process is a big step forward for the economic future and safety of Trenton and all other Downriver communities.”

“We are absolutely thrilled at the cleanup efforts at the former McLouth Steel site. Most folks never truly thought they would see the day where the buildings would come down and ground cleaned up of the toxic waste on the property,” said Trenton Mayor Steven Rzeppa. “This was a tremendous feat pulled off by everyone working together as a team- from MSC Land to the EPA to EGLE and federal, state, county, and city leaders. It’s a monumental step forward for our entire region and will help us build a better future.”  

“Wayne County businesses and residents have worked on the McLouth Steel Site for the past several years. There is no doubt that we took a risk when deciding to make such a commitment; but today, the environmental condition has improved, the taxes have been paid and you can even see the river from Jefferson Road, this proves that our decision to take such a risk has paid off,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “The potential for development is greater than it has been in over 25 years.”

Cleanup included:

  • Demolition of about 45 structures
  • Removal of asbestos-containing material, containerized wastes, and materials containing polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, from all structures before demolition
  • Installation of a fence around the property
  • Removal of contaminated water and sludges from 23 subsurface structures (pits, basements, and lagoons), cleaning or removing the structures and, if the structures remained, filling them with clean fill materials
  • Investigation of five areas where PCBs may have been released
  • Assessment and reports on options for stormwater management to eliminate uncontrolled flow to the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River

To address environmental issues not covered by the agreement, EPA listed the southern portion of the site on the Superfund National Priorities List, or NPL, in May 2019. The NPL is a list of the most contaminated sites in the nation. Cleanup for this portion of the site is eligible for federal funding.

For more information about the site, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/mclouth-steel.

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