County: Crown must clear McLouth site with or without federal funding

Photo by Sue Suchyta Crown Enterprises Michael Samrat, addresses the Trenton City Council about the former McLouth Steel plant site during a Sept. 25 meeting.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Crown Enterprises Michael Samrat, addresses the Trenton City Council about the former McLouth Steel plant site during a Sept. 25 meeting.

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON – Crown Enterprises must demolish and take all McLouth structures to grade within 24 months of closing on the site, with or without federal funding, according to the Wayne County Commission.

The commission said on Oct. 3 that Crown must do the work with or without federal Superfund money.

“None is contingent on getting Superfund money,” said Whitney Lewis, deputy communications director for the Wayne County Executive Office. “If they get EPA assistance, that’s great. It they don’t, they still have their obligations contained in the agreement with the land bank.”

Lewis said it is unknown what will be constructed on the cleaned up site, but it will likely be industrial.

Crown Enterprises President Michael Samhat said at a Sept. 25 special Trenton City Council meeting that Crown is committed to working with the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Michigan, and the EPA plans to get the former McLouth site on the National Priorities List, which would eventually become a Superfund site, land in the U.S. contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA because of its human health and environmental risk.

“Our negotiation with them, to date, we’ve got a comfort letter, and we’re working toward a PPA (performance partnership agreement), and we hope to have that in place by the end of the year,” Samhat said. “Those are done under Superfund. We are not fighting Superfund. Our negotiation contemplates that.”

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)