Ironwood Manufactured Gas Plant Site

Site Contact:
Kathy Halbur & Jacob Hassan


Site Location:
Hemlock & W. Ayer Streets
Ironwood, MI 49938

The Site is the location of a former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) located in the City of Ironwood, Michigan along the Montreal River, the state border between Michigan and Wisconsin.

The MGP Site was owned and operated by the City of Ironwood from 1911 until approximately the late 1940s or early 1950s to supply gas to the nearby area. This facility is in a residential area. The City currently owns the MGP Site.

Assessments of the Site and the surrounding area conducted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), and EPA demonstrated that MGP process waste and free product in the surface and subsurface soils are leaching contaminants into the groundwater and Montreal River. Gross contamination, including process waste, was observed along the river downgradient of the Site. Contaminants of concern identified in soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and inorganic contaminants. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) concluded that the coal tar material and the physical hazards at the Site could cause potential harm to people visiting the Site.

In August - October, 2012, EPA removed the contaminated soil and buried waste material at the Site, including over 15,000 Tons of MGP waste. To the extent possible (limited by inclement weather), EPA restored the Site to green space for future recreational use and stabilized the Site for winter (i.e., erosion control, engineered drainage, fencing). EPA returned to the Site the weeks of June 10, 2013 and July 15, 2013 to complete Site restoration and conduct post-removal sampling. The City of Ironwood, MDEQ, WDNR, MDCH, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services all assisted with the removal action.

For additional information, visit the Pollution/Situation Report (Pol/Sitreps) section.