EPA cleans up polluted neighborhood - WNEM TV 5

EPA cleans up polluted neighborhood

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ST. LOUIS, MI (WNEM) -

The head of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality visited the Velsicol chemical site Monday morning.

Heavy machinery still prowls around the Velsicol superfund site in Gratiot County's community of St. Louis.

Velsicol has been a superfund site for years, with cleanup of toxic chemicals there going on since 1998.

Recently the EPA completed cleanup work at about 35 homes in the area.

State DEQ director Dan Wyant said he is pleased with the $20 million worth of cleanup so far this year.

"This is one of the more difficult sites in Michigan. Historically one of the more significant contaminations in the Midwest, but here's the good news. We're cleaning up the neighborhoods," he said.

A neighbor to the superfund site is pleased with the cleanup process so far.

"They're working well with the people, they're addressing all the issues that have come up, they've bent over backwards to be good about it and nice about it and work as well as they can with everybody," Randy Cannefax said.

A local state senator who was on the tour gave his take on the cleanup update.

"They're trying to develop innovative new technologies to use to treat chemicals that have been here for decades and make sure there's no more seepage into the river," State Senator John Moolenaar said.

However, the area will never be the same as it was before it was polluted.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done. It is safe to say that the public will be protected," Wyant said.

The EPA will continue to clean up residential properties around the Velsicol plant into next year.

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