Vapor Intrusion

Vapor Intrusion

Certain chemicals that get spilled or discharged into the ground emit gases, or vapors, that can move through the soil.  These vapors may enter a house or building through cracks, holes, drains, and other small openings in a basement floor, wall, or foundation slab. This is called vapor intrusion.  It is similar to how radon, a naturally occurring gas, enters a house or building.

Common chemicals that have been found in vapor intrusion sites in Michigan include trichloroethylene (TCE, used often as a metal parts degreaser), tetrachloroethylene (PCE or Perc, used in dry cleaners), and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene (BTEX, associated with gas stations).  The potential for health risks is dependent on the type and concentration of chemical or compound that is detected.  

The Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) is working collaboratively with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to evaluate the potential for indoor air quality health risks in areas with historical groundwater contamination sites. 

 Holly Road Site

A release of chlorinated solvents by a manufacturing company north of Holly Road and Fifth Street in Brighton. The contaminated plume is undergoing treatments by the MDEQ and extends approximately 2,500-feet south of this property. Recent developments concerning exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) vapors through the indoor air pathway (vapor intrusion) have resulted in a re-evaluation of soil gas (vapors) coming from the contaminated groundwater in the residential areas. A map of the groundwater contamination plume and its area of concern are provided below.      

          
Contacts
DEQ: Rebecca Taylor, Project Manager
TaylorR@michigan.gov, 517-284-5160

DHHS: Aaron Cooch, Toxicologist
CoochA@michigan.gov, 517-284-4816

LCHD: Matt Bolang, Director of Environmental Health
MBolang@livgov.com, 517-552-6870

 Haigh Manufacturing Site

The former Haigh Manufacturing site on Whitmore Lake Road in Green Oak Township released trichloroethylene (TCE) in the 1960's that eventually contaminated the groundwater in this area.  The contamination was discovered in the 1990's and the MDEQ has been regulating this site since. In 2004, the subdivision located south of the site connected to municipal water.  In 2017, MDEQ updated the vapor intrusion screening standards and further site investigations began in May 2018 to determine potential risks for TCE entering homes in the vicinity.

This is a map of the shallow groundwater contamination plume from 2005.  Keep in mind that this is not necessarily a map showing exposure, as no homes in this area are on water wells.  MDEQ will be targeting their vapor intrusion investigation in this area based on this information. 

Contacts
DEQ: Emily Peabody, Project Manager
PeabodyE@michigan.gov, 517-284-5104

DHHS: Aaron Cooch, Toxicologist
CoochA@michigan.gov, 517-284-4816

LCHD: Matt Bolang, Director of Environmental Health
MBolang@livgov.com, 517-552-6870