parsons chemical works, inc.


The Parsons Chemical site is a six-acre site, located in Oneida Township west of Grand Ledge in northeastern Eaton county. Parsons mixed, manufactured, and packaged agricultural chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and mercury-based compounds from 1945 through 1979. Floor drains discharged into a septic tank and leach field which were ultimately discharged to a creek and then to the Grand River. Between 1979 and 1980, the State of Michigan collected sediment and soil samples from the creek and Grand Ledge ditch. The results revealed the presence of pesticides and elevated levels of heavy metals. In 1980, ETM Enterprises, Inc. (ETM), a manufacturer of fiberglass parts, purchased the property. ETM conducted a limited study to find sources of the contamination. Following the study, ETM excavated, removed, and disposed of the septic tank and leach field. Through the mid-1980s, several soil sampling events took place, revealing elevated concentrations of mercury, arsenic, and chromium as well as pesticides, including dieldrin, chlordane, and DDT and its breakdown products. In 1984, the site was included in the National Dioxin Study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who found various dioxins in sediments of the Grand Ledge ditch on plant property and in the sediment in the drainage tiles on and off the site. In 1985, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources fenced the dioxin-contaminated areas. About 11,000 people obtain their drinking water from three Grand Ledge municipal wells or private wells, located within three miles of the site. These wells were found not to be impacted by the site contamination. Groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment sampling was conducted by the state during the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) which began in 1993. An RI is a study into the nature and extent of site contamination. An FS is a study of cleanup alternatives for the site. The primary focus of the RI/FS was a hydrogeological investigaion and the assessment of soil not previously investigated. The Baseline Risk Assessment, conducted to determine potential risk from contaminants at the site, determined that two of the inorganics detected were responsible for almost all of the potential human health risks if water from the monitoring wells is consumed. These two chemicals are manganese and zinc. The drinking water wells in the area are installed much deeper in the bedrock aquifer where potable water is available. Private water supply wells sampled during the RI showed no contamination. Site Responsibility This site is being addressed by the MDEQ with funding from the EPA.

Hazardous Ranking Score

31 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 5
Phone: (312) 353-2000

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
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        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

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