The following is a comprehensive library of documents pertaining to cleanup activities in and around Torch Lake. The purpose of this page is to bring together the many and varied documents in one place to aid ease of access to this information.
New documents are added regularly to this page.
Table of Contents
Click on one of the sections below to jump to it.
This document summarizes existing information regarding conditions in the AOC and is meant to communicate with stakeholders about the status of the site as well as stakeholders’ ideas for and visions of future conditions in the AOC.
2019 Benthos Monitoring Report
The 2019 Benthos Monitoring Report provides an update on 30 sites sampled at Torch Lake by EPA in 1999-2000, and incorporates 10 new test sites. The updated survey results of the benthic community in the lake in 2018 is compared with baseline data collected nearly two decades ago in order to evaluate the progress of natural attenuation throughout the lake.
The main findings of the report are that near the mouth of the Trap Rock River there appears to be a small but growing benthic community. On the western shore of the lake where barrels from chemical processing remain in the lake the benthic community density is very low.
Area of Concern documents
1987 MNDR Remedial Action Plan
The 1987 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Remedial Action plan
2007 Remedial Action Plan Update
The 2007 Remedial Action Plan Update addresses the status of Torch Lake’s then three remaining beneficial use impairments (BUIs).
2007 EPA Letter of Concurrence to Delist Fish Tumor Beneficial Use Impairment
The 2007 Letter of Concurrence from EPA Region 5 concurs with the State of Michigan assessment that the fish tumor beneficial use impairment (BUI) be removed following an absence of fish with tumors in Torch Lake.
2019 EGLE Capping and Wetland Construction Experimental Plan
Abandoned Mine Wastes
1989 Community Relations Memo
The 1989 Community Relations Memo provided an itinerary for a March 1989 EPA Region 5 trip to visit the communities surrounding Torch Lake, as well as a summary of the area communities, suggested repository locations for contaminated soils. Finally, the memo includes contact information for elected officials, concerned citizens, media, and other participants.
1990 Community Relations Plan
The 1990 Community Relations Plan described the Superfund site, the affected communities, community concerns about the site, and the EPA’s objectives for community relations during the cleanup process.
1992 Drum Removal Report
The 1992 Drum Removal Report provides information about the more than 800 drums thought to contain hazardous substances that are in the western side of Torch Lake in four locations: off the shore of Calumet and Hecla smelting mill in Lake Linden, off shore of the Ahmeek mill site, off shore of the Tamarack site, and off shore of the Quincy site. The document describes the plan to remove some, but not all, of the submerged drums.
1992 Final Feasibility Report for Operable Units I and III
The 1992 Final Feasibility Study Report for Operable Units (OU) I and III discusses remedial alternatives for each operable unit of the Superfund site. Operable units are used to separate aspects of a cleanup to make the process easier by breaking it into smaller parts. Operable unites are usually related to location or type of contamination.
1993 Operable Unit II Record of Decision
The 1993 Operable Unit II Record of Decision selected “No Action” for the operable unit. The Record of Decision (ROD) outlines how EPA came to that conclusion.
1994 Operable Unit II Final Remedy
The 1994 Operable Unit II Final Remedy position paper summarizes the scope of the operable unit and discusses how EPA arrived at its decision to delist Operable Unit II without taking remedial action because in the agency’s view the human health risk attributable to sediments and surface water did not warrant action. Operable Unit II is surface water at the site.
2002 Federal Register Notice
A 2002 Federal Register notification to delist Operable Unit II.
2003 First Five-Year Review Report
Five-Year Review reports assess whether the EPA’s chosen remedy is protective of human health and the environment. In the first five-year review, the EPA discusses what outstanding issues remain at the site and recommendations for follow-up actions.
2004 EPA Fact Sheet: New Plant and Wildlife Areas
2004 EPA Fact Sheet: Construction Complete
2008 Second Five-Year Review Report
2008 Proposed Plan for Record of Decision Amendment for Operable Unit III
2008 Monitoring Report
2008 Fact Sheet: Cleanup Plan for Quincy Smelter Erosion
2012 Fact Sheet: EPA Wants Parcels Removed From Superfund
2013 Third Five-Year Review Report
2018 Fact Sheet: Deed Restrictions
2018 Fourth Five-Year Review Report
EPA Emergency Response documents
Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District
2015 Watershed Management Plan
The 2015 Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District watershed management plan was completed at the request of then-Torch Lake AOC site manager Sharon Baker.