Battle Creek’s Verona Wellfield Superfund Site Still A Danger
Battle Creek’s Verona Wellfield Superfund site is among 26 sites around the state that are determined to be at risk of releasing chemicals into the environment during a flood.
A report from the Government Accountability Office identifies 1,500 sites nationwide that could release dangerous chemicals in the event of floods or other "risky" events like fires and storm surges.
The Verona Well Field in Battle Creek was contaminated by pollution released by the Thomas Solvent Co. and Grand Trunk Western Railroad. The groundwater under the state's portion of the project is clean, and scientists are verifying that the soil clean-up work was effective. But flooding could disrupt a treatment pump operating the on the site. Other sites around the state present significantly greater potential of problems.
The GAO's report is largely a response to Hurricane Harvey, the 2017 storm that swept through Texas and flooded Superfund sites, releasing pollution into the floodwaters and exposing people to dangerous chemicals. That's why most of the emphasis is on gulf and coastal states.