New system in place for homes in contamination zone

A system has been worked out with the city of Sturgis to notify the Branch-St. Joseph-Hillsdale County Health Agency when homes in a designated contamination zone are sold.

There were 47 homes in the affected area, declared as the Newell-Kirsch Superfund site. Nine have not been tested in a program that began last year with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and property owner Newell Brands.

Bruce Caswell, a Hillsdale County commissioner and health board members, urged staff to seek state legal help to file a notice with the Register of Deeds in property records so those buying in the Superfund Fund area would have notice.

State and local health officials wish to make sure each home is inspected and remediated.

The issues came to light in 1981 when TCE and PCE were found in Sturgis groundwater wells. The wells were subsequently shut down. The contamination was tied to Cooper Industries, which owned the Kirsch branch and was purchased by Newell.

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One comment

  1. Andrea Mazerinski

    A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or the environment. These properties have officially been declared unsafe hazards for decades.TCE and PCE infiltrates water, air and soil. They cause cancer, nervous system, kidney, liver and blood damage and more. Tests for trichloroethylene and its metabolites in the blood or urine require special analytical equipment not readily available at medical facilities.

    Just how have these properties been remediated so they are safe for human habitation?

    To what other toxic chemicals are we continuously being exposed?

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