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October 2003

Final Phase of Clean-up at Master Metals Begins

Chicago, IL— U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has signed an agreement with a group of responsible parties to address the final phase of a lead contamination cleanup in Detroit’s Krainzwood neighborhood.

Under the agreement, the companies will voluntarily excavate contaminated soil from at least 69 residential properties. The work is expected to begin in late September. The companies will also pay for the cleanup now under way at the former Master Metals property at 4700 E. Nevada St.

The agreement took effect on August 22. Called an administrative order on consent, it was signed by EPA and a group of six companies previously identified by the agency as responsible for lead contamination at Master Metals. Under the agreement, the parties Daimler/Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honeywell, Johnson Controls and NL Corp., will pay about $3.7 million. This includes about $2.5 million in costs related to the residential areas cleanup and about $1.2 million to address the Master Metals property.

Since March, EPA has collected more than 600 soil samples from the neighborhood near the site, including residential yards, the Atkinson Elementary School, a park next to the school and a housing complex. As a result, 69 residential properties have been identified for cleanups that include excavation of soil with lead levels at or above 400 parts per million, backfill with clean soil and restoration of landscaping. In addition to the homes, two areas in the housing complex will be cleaned. Other homes have yet to be sampled. EPA expects the responsible parties to contact these property owners and follow up with cleanups where lead levels exceed 400 ppm.

At the Master Metals property, the current and final phase of cleanup is nearly complete. In September, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expected to begin demolition of the building at the site.

After the demolition, the responsible parties will remove any remaining contaminated soil. Grass will then be planted on the site, with MDEQ assuming ownership of the property.

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