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Buick City clean-up planned

The final U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan for the clean-up of Buick City comes on the heels of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers announcement Tuesday of a landmark federal framework to speed the cleanup and redevelopment of shuttered auto facilities resulting from the GM bankruptcy. The federal government is investing nearly $836 million to put facilities back into productive use, with hopes of creating jobs and economic growth in communities across the country.

EPA Region 5 today announced its final decision on an estimated $5 million to $7 million cleanup plan to address historical contamination on the south end portion of the former General Motors Buick City property in Flint.

The south end portion of the 452-acre property includes the area south of Leith Street, bounded on the east by Cole Boulevard and the Flint River and to the south by Harriet Street.

Due to General Motors' bankruptcy, Motors Liquidation Corp. is the successor company and current owner of the site. Buick City's south end is the first of the former General Motors sites to have a final cleanup plan.  The EPA will oversee the cleanup work in consultation with Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

"Finalizing the cleanup plan is a key milestone in the future redevelopment of Buick City," said Margaret Guerriero, director of EPA Region 5's land and chemicals division.  "Most of the cleanup work will be subsurface or in isolated areas of the site. The cleanup should not impact — or slow down — any plans for a new business that wants to operate on the property."

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling is excited about the opportunity for redevelopment of this site.

"It's great news for our community that Buick City is the first former General Motors manufacturing site in the country with an approved reclamation plan. A potential investor has already expressed interest in purchasing this location for a future intermodal operation," said Walling. "With this plan in place and the federal financial commitment to the clean up and redevelopment process, it's akin to having our very own stimulus fund. This is a game changer for Flint. It opens the door for us to create jobs, recycle properties and become more competitive in this 21st century global economy."

With the cleanup plan finalized, the next step is for the EPA to receive a detailed project implementation plan from MLC's contractors. Most work at the site will begin in 2011.  Through the fall and winter, area residents may occasionally see sampling teams or other environmental workers at the site.

See www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/wptdiv/sites/buickcity/ for more information, including a fact sheet for the plan as it was proposed in February. An information repository with site documents has been established at the Flint Main Branch Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley St.

About Buick City

  • Automotive production at the Buick City property began in the 1890s.
  • The Buick Motor Co. moved to Flint in 1903 and became a division of General Motors when that corporation was formed in 1908.
  • The facility also produced military equipment during World Wars I and II.
  • Manufacturing operations at the south end portion of the site ceased in 1999.
  • More than 15 million Buicks were built at the Buick City complex.
  • During the 1970s, General Motors employed nearly 30,000 people at Buick City — it was the largest UAW local in the U.S.

About property owned by MLC in Flint

  • Michigan has over 4,000 acres of MLC property.
  • Flint area has over 850 acres of MLC property, which is more than 20 percent of the Michigan total.
  • Flint proper has 640 acres of MLC property and 4.7 million square feet of buildings.
  • Flint has the most MLC land of any city in the country.

Contact Dawn Jones at (810) 237-2039 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Mick Hans at (312) 353-5050 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

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