September 14, 2021, and July 13, 2022, working with state and local
governments, EPA completed a time-critical removal action that removed more
than 1,800 tons of asbestos contaminated debris, 135 tons of contaminated soil,
and 12 35-gallon dry-cleaning underground storage tanks. Utilities were capped,
and below-grade internal freestanding walls were rubblized.
has completed the removal and plans no further work under the current action.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or EGLE,
intends to conduct further assessment of the former dry cleaner.
May 21, 2021 a fire destroyed three buildings, including several apartments and
commercial businesses near the intersection of Fifth and Portland streets in
Calumet, Michigan. An assessment of the rubble resulting from the fire found
that the debris was contaminated with asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was often used in construction
in the mid-20th century. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers for a long
period of time can cause scar-like tissue in the lungs and the lining surrounding
Environmental Protection Agency was one of the responding agencies, and worked
with the Village of Calumet, Calumet Township, Houghton County, and the
Michigan Department Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, or EGLE to begin the
cleanup of asbestos-contaminated debris resulting from the fire.
September 2021, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the removal and
disposal of asbestos-contaminated rubble and debris from the site. EPA
monitored air quality during the cleanup and backfilled open basements after
the cleanup was completed.
of Portland Street, Fourth Street, and part of the parking lot at Agassiz Park
were closed during the cleanup.