Torch Lake Superfund Site
Community Involvement Coordinator
Dave Novak (email@example.com)
312-886-7478 or 800-621-8431, ext. 67478
Remedial Project Manager
312-886-6148 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66148
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Project Manager
Scott Cornelius (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NPL Deletion Process Manager
Gladys Beard (email@example.com)
312-886-7253 or 800-621-8431, ext. 67253
(where to view written records)
EPA Region 5 Record Center,
7th Floor, 77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Lake Linden/Hubbell Public Library
601 Calumet St.
Lake Linden, MI
58 Huron St.
If you are interested in the delisting of portions of the Torch Lake Superfund site please attend this public informational session.
The Torch Lake site is located on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Houghton County, Michigan. Copper mining activities in the area from the 1890s until 1969 produced mill tailings that contaminated the lake sediments and shoreline.
You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
The Quincy Smelter remedial action, consisting of a 9-inch vegetative cover over about 6 acres of stamp sands, was completed in September 2011. The EPA will continue to monitor the parcel until September 2012 at which point the Operation and Maintenance activities will be transferred to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
Once the Institutional Controls (ICs) are in place, the Quincy Smelter parcel will be eligible for delisting from the National Priorities List (NPL). Currently there are 9 out of 11 Torch Lake parcels currently on the NPL. MDEQ has initiated the delisting of an additional three parcels: Michigan Smelter, Isle Royale, and Mason Sands. The goal is to get these parcels delisted by the end of the year. Of the remaining 6 parcels only 1 is eligible for delisting: Calumet Lake. The other five parcels (Boston Pond, Point Mills, Dollar Bay, Quincy Smelter, and North Entry) do not have the appropriate Institutional Controls (ICs) in place and as such cannot be delisted from the NPL. EPA and MDEQ have identified properties that need ICs and are planning to conduct community outreach to help those property owners put the necessary ICs on their properties.
Third Five Year Review for the Torch Lake Superfund site is underway. The Superfund law requires regular checkups of sites that have been cleaned up – with waste managed on-site – to make sure the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment. This is the third five-year review of this site.The cleanup addressed the stamp sands, slag, and surrounding bodies of water. A soil and vegetative cover over the nearly 800 acres of stamp sands and slag in Operable Units 1 and 3 is designed to reduce the metal erosion into the lake. Long-term monitoring of Torch Lake is also required. Long-term operation and maintenance continues. The review is expected to be completed later this year.
When waste is left in place as part of the selected remedial action at a Superfund Site, EPA has to come back and evaluate the remedy every five years. The first five year review (FYR) for the Torch lake Site occurred in 2003, 5 years after the work began at Lake Linden Sands. The second FYR was completed in March 2008 and prompted the Quincy Smelter remedial action work (completed 2011). The next FYR is due March 2013, so EPA and MDEQ are conducting the FYR inspection this summer - June 19 - 21. If you have comments about the remedy that could be useful in this review please contact Nefertiti DiCosmo, the EPA project manager.
During the previous FYR inspection EPA noted that additional fertilization on certain parcels could help the vegetative covers grow better. Therefore, EPA plans to fertilize thee parcels ( Point Mills, Isle Royale, and North Entry) this summer. After this fertilization event, any additional maintenance activities will be carried out by MDEQ.
- EPA Begins Review of Torch Lake Superfund Site ad (PDF) (1pp, 17K) June 2012
- Senator Carl Levin Announces Quincy Smelter Community Open House (2pp, 52K) - July 20, 2009
- Qincy Smelter Open House Invitation (2pp, 217K) July 2009
- MEDIA ADVISORY: EPA to co-sponsor ceremony to commemorate completion of cleanup work on Torch Lake Superfund site - August 15, 2006
- EPA completes cleanup work on Torch Lake Superfund site - August 14, 2006
- The EPA Wants Parcels Removed from Superfund (PDF) (4pp, 4MB) August 2012
- EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan For Quincy Smelter Erosion (PDF) (6pp, 325K) December 2008
- Environmental Work Continues at Torch Lake Sites April 2008
- EPA Completes Construction at Torch Lake (PDF) (4pp, 128K) August 2006
- Asbestos Forces EPA to Fence Smelter Site July 2004
- EPA Intends to Delete the Hubbell/Tamarack City Parcel of the Torch Lake Superfund Site from the NPL - February 2004
- Cleanup Projects Creating New Plant and Wildlife Areas (PDF) (6pp, 849K) February 2004
- Third five-year review (PDF) (113pp, 7.1MB) March 2013
- Second five-year review (PDF) (214pp, 13.8MB) March 2008
- Five Year Review 2008 (PDF) (500pp, 85.7MB)
- First five-year review (PDF) (39pp, 476K) March 2003
- Five Year Review (PDF) (44pp, 2MB) March 2003
- Proposed Plan for Amended Remedy at Quincy Smelter - slide presentation (PDF) (21pp, 1.1MB) January 15, 2009
- Proposed Plan for Record of Decision Amendment for Operable Unit 3 at Torch Lake Superfund Site (PDF) (10pp, 355K) December 2008