The Gratiot County Golf Course in St. Louis, Michigan has been added to the Superfund National Priorities List. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex and uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in the U.S.
The Gratiot County site lies east of the Hidden Oaks Golf Course on Monroe Road. From 1956 to 1970, the nearby Velsicol Chemical burned their hazardous waste in an open pit. Originally the pit disposal area was proposed to Superfund in 1982, but at that time Velsicol excavated 68,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil. In 2006, more soil and ground water contamination was found, and EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decided to propose the site as a new listing. With today’s action, the site is now eligible for further analysis and development of a cleanup plan.
So the message here is that for over 55 years, the groundwater and soil in St. Louis Michigan have been contaminated. It took 12 years after the toxic waste burning ended before anyone was held responsible and made to remove contamination. It took another 24 years before testing found more contamination. How long will it take to actually resolve this problem? Long after you and I are gone, probably, and long after all the people who worked at Velsicol have died of cancer.