The North Bronson Industrial Area Superfund Site is located in the city of Bronson, Branch County, Michigan. The Site is located in portions of the northeast quarter of section 11 and the northwest quarter of section 12, Township 7 south, Range 8 west and occupies the northern (industrial) area of the city of Bronson. The Site is bounded to the east by Lincoln Street, northward to County Drain #30 (CD #30), to the north by CD #30, to the west by Burr Oak Road, northward to CD #30 , and to the south by Fillmore and Union Streets.
Contamination detected at the Site is the result of industrial activities and waste handling practices in the North Bronson area since the early 1900's. Industries in the area include plating operations, machine shops, agricultural supply, bulk petroleum storage, and manufacturing plants. Initially, several industries discharged plating and other industrial wastes directly into CD#30. Due to fish kills and cattle deaths occurring along the drain, the city of Bronson constructed waste lagoons to retain the waste generated by industry.
The Site encompasses 220 acres with a maximum topographic relief of 12 feet, with the lowest point on the Site being CD #30. CD#30 is the main tributary within the Site and flows east to west into Swan Creek and then to the St. Joseph River. Two predominant features and contaminant source areas are waste lagoons located in the northeast and northwest sections of the Site.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in accordance with the CERCLA, included the Site on its National Priorities List in 1986.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is acting as the sole trustee for NRDA at this site. The Service received $100,000 as part of bankruptcy settlement in 1999, completed some pilot restoration projects in 2004-2006, and issued a final restoration plan in 2007. NRDA specialists and biologists in the Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Branch County Conservation District to implement restoration projects on private land within the Swan Creek watershed as willing landowners were identified. Projects include fencing livestock out of the creek to improve water quality and allow streamside vegetation to regrow, restoring wetlands, and restoring native vegetation in upland areas in the watershed. The available funding resulted in restoration of 40.1 acres of wetland, 106 acres of grassland, 1.9 acres of forest, and 8700 feet of stream habitat in the Swan Creek watershed from 2004 to 2016, when all funds were spent.