Michigan Smelter

Site Contact:
Elizabeth Nightingale


Site Location:
17867 Canal Road
Houghton, MI 49931

On 9/10/13, EPA initiated a time critical removal action at the Michigan Smelter site located at 17867 Canal Road in Houghton, Michigan. The site was operated as copper smelting facility between 1903-1947. The majority of the smelter infrastructure was subsequently dismantled, and the site was operated as a junkyard before being converted into a residential rental property. MDEQ contacted EPA in June 2012 and requested removal program assistance with the site. MDEQ and EPA assessments of the site identified an approximately 4 acre area where surface soil is contaminated with arsenic, lead and copper, as well as several other piles of metal contaminated smelter waste, piles of asbestos containing materials, and a battery pile, likely from the junkyard operation. Removal actions included removing accessible waste piles for treatment and/or proper disposal, posting the boundaries of the smelter ruins with signage regarding the presence of contamination, installing a 6 inch deep cover over approximately 1.5 acres of the site that can be safely accessed, and backfilling and restoring disturbed areas.

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