[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 159 (Friday, August 16, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 49939-49945]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19759]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 300

[EPA-HQ-SFUND-1986-0005; FRL-9846-4]


National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; 
National Priorities List: Partial Deletion of the Torch Lake Superfund 
Site

AGENCY: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 is 
publishing a direct final Notice of Deletion of the Quincy Smelter and 
Calumet Lake parcels of Operable Unit 3 (OU3) of the Torch Lake 
Superfund Site (Site), located in Houghton County, Michigan, from the 
National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL, promulgated pursuant to 
Section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, 
and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, is an appendix of the 
National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). 
This direct final partial deletion is being published by EPA with the 
concurrence of the State of Michigan, through the Michigan Department 
of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), because EPA has determined that all 
appropriate response actions at these identified parcels under CERCLA, 
other than operation, maintenance, and five-year reviews, have been 
completed. However, this partial deletion does not preclude future 
actions under Superfund.
    This partial deletion pertains to the surface tailings and slag 
deposits of the Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake parcels of OU3. The 
following parcels or areas will remain on the NPL and are not being 
considered for deletion as part of this action: Dollar Bay, Point 
Mills, Boston Pond, and North Entry.

DATES: This direct final partial deletion is effective October 15, 2013 
unless EPA receives adverse comments by September 16, 2013. If adverse 
comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the 
direct final partial deletion in the Federal Register informing the 
public that the deletion will not take effect.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
SFUND-1986-0005, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow online instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: Nefertiti DiCosmo, Remedial Project Manager, at 
dicosmo.nefertiti@epa.gov or Dave Novak, Community Involvement 
Coordinator, at novak.dave@epa.gov.
     Fax: Gladys Beard at (312) 697-2077.
     Mail: Nefertiti DiCosmo, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency (SR-6J), 77 West Jackson Boulevard, 
Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-6148 or Dave Novak, Community Involvement 
Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (SI-7J), 77 West 
Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-7478 or toll free at 1 
(800) 621-8431.
     Hand delivery: Dave Novak, Community Involvement 
Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

[[Page 49940]]

(SI-7J), 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604. Such deliveries 
are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation, and 
special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed 
information. The normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, excluding federal holidays.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-
1986-0005. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site 
is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in the hard 
copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at:

 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, 77 West Jackson 
Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604, Phone: (312) 353-1063, Hours: Monday 
through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, excluding federal holidays.
 Lake Linden/Hubbell Public Library, 601 Calumet Street, Lake 
Linden, MI 49945, Phone: (906) 296-6211, Summer Hours: Tuesday and 
Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST; Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
EST, Winter Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST 
(when school is in session); Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 
p.m. EST
 Portage Lake District Library, 58 Huron Street, Houghton, MI 
49931, Phone: (906) 482-4570, Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:00 
a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST; and 
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nefertiti DiCosmo, Remedial Project 
Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (SR-6J), 77 West Jackson 
Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604, (312) 886-6148, 
dicosmo.nefertiti@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. NPL Deletion Criteria
III. Deletion Procedures
IV. Basis for Site Deletion
V. Deletion Action

I. Introduction

    EPA Region 5 is publishing this Direct Final Notice of Deletion of 
the Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake parcels of Operable Unit (OU3) of 
the Torch Lake Superfund (Site) from the National Priorities List (NPL) 
and requests public comments on this proposed action. The NPL 
constitutes Appendix B of 40 CFR part 300, which is the National Oil 
and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), and which 
EPA promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, 
as amended. EPA maintains the NPL as the list of sites that appear to 
present a significant risk to public health, welfare, or the 
environment. Sites on the NPL may be the subject of remedial actions 
financed by the Hazardous Substance Superfund (Fund). This partial 
deletion of the Torch Lake Superfund Site is proposed in accordance 
with 40 CFR 300.425(e) and is consistent with the Notice of Policy 
Change: Partial Deletion of Sites Listed on the National Priorities 
List, (60 FR 55466) on November 1, 1995. As described in 300.425(e)(3) 
of the NCP, sites deleted from the NPL remain eligible for Fund-
financed remedial actions if future conditions warrant such actions.
    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and 
routine, this action will be effective October 15, 2013 unless EPA 
receives adverse comments by September 16, 2013. Along with this Direct 
Final Notice of Partial Deletion, EPA is co-publishing a Notice of 
Intent for Partial Deletion in the ``Proposed Rules'' section of the 
Federal Register. If adverse comments are received within the 30-day 
public comment period on this partial deletion action, EPA will publish 
a timely withdrawal of this Direct Final Notice of Partial Deletion 
before the effective date of the partial deletion, and the deletion 
will not take effect. EPA will, as appropriate, prepare a response to 
comments and continue with the deletion process on the basis of the 
Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion and the comments already 
received. There will be no additional opportunity to comment.
    Section II of this document explains the criteria for deleting 
sites from the NPL. Section III discusses procedures that EPA is using 
for this action. Section IV discusses the Quincy Smelter and Calumet 
Lake parcels of OU3 and demonstrates how the deletion criteria are met 
at these land parcels. Section V discusses EPA's action to partially 
delete the Site parcels from the NPL unless adverse comments are 
received during the public comment period.

II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    The NCP establishes the criteria that EPA uses to delete sites from 
the NPL. In accordance with 40 CFR 300.425(e), sites may be deleted 
from the NPL where no further response is appropriate. In making such a 
determination pursuant to 40 CFR 300.425(e), EPA will consider, in 
consultation with the state, whether any of the following criteria have 
been met:
    i. Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all 
appropriate response actions required;
    ii. All appropriate Fund-financed response under CERCLA has been 
implemented, and no further response action by responsible parties is 
appropriate; or
    iii. The remedial investigation has shown that the release poses no 
significant threat to public health or the environment and, therefore, 
the taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.
    Pursuant to CERCLA section 121(c) and the NCP, EPA conducts five-
year reviews to ensure the continued protectiveness of remedial actions 
where hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remain at a 
site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted 
exposure. EPA conducts such five-year reviews even if a site is

[[Page 49941]]

deleted from the NPL. EPA may initiate further action to ensure 
continued protectiveness at a deleted site if new information becomes 
available that indicates it is appropriate. Whenever there is a 
significant release from a site deleted from the NPL, the deleted site 
may be restored to the NPL without application of the hazard ranking 
system.

III. Deletion Procedures

    The following procedures apply to deletion of the Quincy Smelter 
and Calumet Lake parcels of OU3 of the Torch Lake Superfund Site:
    (1) EPA consulted with the State of Michigan prior to developing 
this Direct Final Notice of Partial Deletion and the Notice of Intent 
for Partial Deletion co-published today in the ``Proposed Rules'' 
section of the Federal Register.
    (2) EPA has provided the State 30 working days for review of this 
direct final Notice of Partial Deletion and the parallel Notice of 
Intent for Partial Deletion prior to their publication today, and the 
State, through MDEQ, has concurred on the partial deletion of the Site 
from the NPL.
    (3) Concurrently with the publication of this direct final Notice 
of Partial Deletion, a notice of the availability of the parallel 
Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion is being published in the Daily 
Mining Gazette Newspaper, located in Houghton, Michigan. The newspaper 
notice announces the 30-day public comment period concerning the Notice 
of Intent for Partial Deletion of the Site from the NPL.
    (4) EPA placed copies of documents supporting the proposed partial 
deletion in the deletion docket and made these items available for 
public inspection and copying at the Site information repositories.
    (5) If adverse comments are received within the 30-day public 
comment period on this partial deletion action, EPA will publish a 
timely notice of withdrawal of this direct final Notice of Partial 
Deletion before its effective date and will prepare a response to 
comments. EPA may continue with the deletion process on the basis of 
the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion and the comments already 
received.
    Deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not itself 
create, alter, or revoke any individual's rights or obligations. 
Deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not in any way alter 
EPA's right to take enforcement actions, as appropriate. The NPL is 
designed primarily for informational purposes and to assist EPA 
management. Section 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP states that the deletion 
of a site from the NPL does not preclude eligibility for future 
response actions, should future conditions warrant such actions.

IV. Basis for Site Deletion

    The following information provides EPA's rationale for deleting the 
Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake parcels of OU3 from the NPL.

Site Background and History

    The Torch Lake Superfund Site (CERCLIS ID MID980901946) is located 
on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Houghton County, Michigan. The Site 
includes Torch Lake, the northern portion of Portage Lake, and the 
northern entry of Torch Lake. In the process of selecting a remedy for 
the Torch Lake Site, the following areas were selected for remedial 
measures and thus became part of the Site: defined areas of stamp 
sands, tailing piles, and slag materials along the shore of and in the 
vicinity of Torch Lake, Northern Portage Lake, Keweenaw Waterway, Lake 
Superior, Boston Pond, Calumet Lake, Lake Linden, Hubbell/Tamarack 
City, Mason Sands, Calumet Lake, Michigan Smelter, Isle-Royale, Grosse-
Point, and Quincy Smelter. More specifically, Calumet Lake is located 
in Calumet, Michigan, about five miles northwest of Torch Lake. Quincy 
Smelter is located along the Portage Canal in Hancock, Michigan. The 
Quincy Smelter clean up did not include the historic smelting facility, 
which was left as is out of historic preservation and community 
concerns. These properties, covering 600 acres, were not investigated 
at depth but were defined as part of the Torch Lake Superfund Site 
because of the surficial materials (stamp sands, tailings, and slag) 
and their relative locations to the Torch Lake water body. During the 
site investigation, samples were taken of the surface (0-6 inches) and 
shallow subsurface (0-3 feet) stamp sands, tailings, and slag piles at 
the frequency of approximately one composite sample per 20-acre parcel. 
Data generated reflected similar chemical characteristics in all 
samples collected. This data was sufficient to assume homogeneity of 
these materials and to support selection of the remedial action at the 
Site.
    The remedial action included the installation of a soil vegetative 
cover over areas of stamp sands, tailings, and slag in order to meet 
the Remedial Action Objectives (RAOs). The remedial action only 
addressed surface materials associated with the covered land parcels. 
There may be non-site related contamination with depth or in the 
vicinity of these defined areas of stamp sands, tailings and slag that 
is not addressed by this remedial action. This potential contamination 
was not evaluated or addressed as part of the remedial measures for the 
Site. Non-site related contamination, if identified in the future, will 
not be addressed by a subsequent action as part of the remedial action.
    Torch Lake was the site of copper milling and smelting facilities 
and operations for over 100 years. The Lake was a repository of milling 
wastes, and served as the waterway transportation to support the mining 
industry. The first of many mills opened on Torch Lake in 1868. At the 
mills, copper was extracted by crushing or stamping the rock into 
smaller pieces and driving them through successively smaller meshes. 
The copper and crushed rocks were separated by gravimetric sorting in a 
liquid medium. The copper was then sent to a smelter. The crushed rock 
particles, called tailings, were discarded along with mill processing 
water, typically by pumping them into the Lake.
    Mining output, milling activity, and tailing production peaked in 
the Keweenaw Peninsula in the early 1900s to 1920. All of the mills at 
Torch Lake were located on the west shore of the Lake. Many other 
mining mills and smelters were located throughout the Keweenaw 
Peninsula. By around 1916, advances in technology allowed for the 
recovery of copper from tailings previously deposited in Torch Lake. 
Dredges were used to collect submerged tailings, which were then 
screened, recrushed, and gravity separated. An ammonia leaching process 
involving cupric ammonium carbonate was used to recover copper and 
other metals from conglomerate tailings. During the 1920s, chemical 
reagents were used to further increase the efficiency of reclamation. 
The chemical reagents included lime, pyridine oil, coal tar creosotes, 
wood creosote, pine oil, and xanthates. After reclamation activities 
were complete, chemically treated tailings were returned to the Lake. 
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Torch Lake mills operated mainly to recover 
tailings in Torch Lake. Copper mills were still active in the 1950s, 
but by the late 1960s copper milling had ceased.
    Over 5 million tons of native copper was produced from the Keweenaw 
Peninsula and more than half of this was processed along the shores of 
Torch Lake. Between 1868 and 1968, approximately 200 million tons of 
tailings were dumped into Torch Lake, filling at least 20 percent of 
the Lake's original volume.

[[Page 49942]]

    In June 1972, a discharge of 27,000 gallons of cupric ammonium 
carbonate leaching liquor occurred into the north end of Torch Lake 
from the storage vats at the Lake Linden Leaching Plant. The Michigan 
Water Resources Commission (MWRC) investigated the spill. The 1973 MWRC 
report discerned no deleterious effects associated with the spill, but 
did observe that discoloration of several acres of lake bottom 
indicated previous discharges.
    In the 1970s, environmental concern developed regarding the 
century-long deposition of tailings into Torch Lake. High 
concentrations of copper and other heavy metals in sediments, toxic 
discharges into the Lake, and fish abnormalities prompted many 
investigations into long and short-term impacts attributed to mine 
waste disposal. The International Joint Commission's Water Quality 
Board designated the Torch Lake basin as a Great Lakes Area of Concern 
(AOC) in 1983. Also in 1983, the Michigan Department of Public Health 
announced an advisory against the consumption of Torch Lake sauger and 
walleye fish due to tumors of unknown origin.
    The Torch Lake Superfund Site was proposed for inclusion on the NPL 
in October 1984 (49 FR 40320). The Site was placed on the NPL in June 
1986 (51 FR 21054). The Site is also on the list of sites identified 
under Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act 451 
Part 201.

Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS)

    On May 9, 1988 Notice Letters were issued to Universal Oil Products 
(UOP) and Quincy Mining Company to perform an RI/FS. UOP is the 
successor corporation of Calumet Hecla Mining Company, which operated 
its milling and smelting on the shore of Torch Lake and disposed of the 
generated tailings near the City of Lake Linden. On June 13, 1988, a 
Notice Letter was to perform the RI/FS was also issued to Quincy 
Development Company, which was the current owner of a tailing pile 
located on the lake shore of Mason City. Negotiations for the RI/FS 
Consent Order with these Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) were 
not successful due to issues such as the extent of the Site and the 
number of PRPs.
    During the week of May 8, 1989 EPA conducted ground penetrating 
radar and a sub bottom profile (seismic) survey of the bottom of Torch 
Lake. The area in which this survey was conducted is immediately off-
shore from the Old Calumet and Hecla Smelting Mill Site. The survey 
located several point targets (possibly drums) on the bottom of Torch 
Lake. On June 21, 1989 EPA collected a total of eight samples from 
drums located in the Old Calumet and Hecla Smelting Mill Site near Lake 
Linden, the Ahmeek Mill Site near Hubbell City, and the Quincy Smelter 
Site near Mason City. On August 1, 1990 nine more samples were 
collected from drums located near Tamarack City. Based on the results 
of this sampling, EPA determined that some of these drums may have 
contained hazardous substances.
    Due to the size and complex nature of the Site, three operable 
units (OUs) were defined for the Site. Operable Unit 1 includes 
approximately 500 acres of surface tailings, drums, and slag piles on 
the western shore of Torch Lake. These areas include the Hubbell/
Tamarack City, Lake Linden, and Mason Sands parcels. Operable Unit 2 
includes groundwater, surface water, submerged tailings, and sediments 
in Torch Lake, Portage Lake, the Portage Channel, and other surface 
water bodies at the Site. Operable Unit 3 includes tailings and slag 
deposits located at the North Entry of Lake Superior, Michigan Smelter, 
Quincy Smelter, Calumet Lake, Isle-Royale, Boston Pond, and Grosse-
Point (Point Mills/Dollar Bay). Remedial Investigations (RIs) have been 
completed for all three operable units. The RI for OU1 and OU3 only 
investigated the surface (0-6 inches) and shallow subsurface (0-3 feet) 
stamp sands.
    Also, the RI assumed that the stamp sands were homogenous, i.e., 
the stamp sands had similar characteristics wherever they were located. 
The sampling performed to characterize the OU1 and OU3 tailings was 
adequate to select the remedial action based on the homogeneity of the 
parameters measured, the distribution of contaminant compounds, and the 
relatively low levels of contaminants found. While hot spot 
contamination may exist, it is not attributable to tailings 
composition, and could not be reliably located or predicted using any 
reasonable sampling program. The RI and Baseline Risk Assessment (BRA) 
reports for OU1 were finalized in July 1991. The RI and BRA reports for 
OU3 were finalized on February 7, 1992.

Record of Decision (ROD) Findings

    The ROD for OU1 and OU3 was signed on September 30, 1992, and the 
ROD for OU2 was signed on March 31, 1994.

ROD for OU1 and OU3 (September 30, 1992)

    The selected remedial action for the various tailings areas was a 
soil and vegetative cover and institutional controls. The cover 
prevents erosion from surface water runoff and wind of contaminants to 
the impaired sediment. The cover also helps prevent the further 
degradation of Torch Lake's ecosystem, allowing the Lake to recover 
over time. The RAOs for OU1 and OU3 were developed as a result of data 
collected during the RI and included activities to reduce or minimize 
the exposure to and release of contaminants in tailings and/or slag 
located at the Site. These activities included:
    1. Reducing or minimizing potential risks to human health 
associated with the inhalation of airborne contaminants from the 
tailings and/or slag located at the Site;
    2. Reducing or minimizing potential risks to human health 
associated with direct contact with and/or the ingestion of the 
tailings and/or the slag located at the Site;
    3. Reducing or minimizing the release of contaminants in tailings 
to the groundwater through leaching; and
    4. Reducing or minimizing the release of contaminants in tailings 
to the surface water and sediment by soil erosion and/or air 
deposition.
    All of the RAOs for the Torch Lake parcels in this deletion package 
have been met with the successful implementation of a vegetative cover 
over the stamp sands, tailing piles, and slag materials over the 
various tailings areas. The vegetative soil cover reduces airborne and 
direct contact exposure to the contaminants in the stamp sands, 
tailings, and slag. The affected groundwater is part of OU2, for which 
the selected remedy was no action, and OU2 was deleted from the NPL in 
2002. Since the selected remedy for groundwater was no action, it is 
not imperative that the OU1 and OU3 remedy achieve the third RAO. The 
vegetative soil cover serves to stabilize the stamp sands, tailings, 
and slag underneath and reduce the erosion of these materials and their 
associated contaminants to the surface water and sediment. The selected 
remedy for OU1 and OU3 has the following specific components:
    1. Deed restrictions to control the use of tailing piles so that 
tailings will not be left in a condition which is contrary to the 
intent of the remedy;
    2. Removal of debris such as wood, empty drums, and other garbage 
in the tailing piles for off-site disposal in order to effectively 
implement the soil cover with vegetation;

[[Page 49943]]

    3. Soil cover with vegetation in the following areas:
     Operable Unit 1 tailings in Hubbell/Tamarack City, Lake 
Linden, and Mason Sands (approximately 442 acres);
     Operable Unit 1 slag pile in Hubbell (approximately 9 
acres); and
     Operable Unit 3 tailings in Calumet Lake, Boston Pond, 
Michigan Smelter, and Grosse-Point (Point Mills/Dollar Bay) 
(approximately 229 acres)
    4. Assuming that the slag pile located in the Quincy Smelter area 
(approximately 25 acres) will be developed as part of a national park, 
no action was taken. If this area is not developed as a national park 
in the future, deed restrictions will be sought to prevent the 
development of residences in the slag pile area;
    5. North Entry, Redridge and Freda tailings are excluded from the 
area to be covered with soil and vegetation (and are not currently 
being proposed for deletion here). North Entry, Redridge, and Freda are 
along the Lake Superior shore where pounding waves and water currents 
will likely retard or destroy any remedial actions. As a result, EPA 
currently believes it to be technically impracticable to implement the 
chosen remedy at these locations.

ROD Amendment for OU1 and OU3 (July 2009)

    The amended remedy was developed because of information that had 
been collected and analyzed since the 1992 ROD. The 1992 ROD for OU1 
and OU3 determined that no action should be taken at Quincy Smelter, as 
it was slated for development as a national park. The 1992 ROD 
stipulated that if this area were not developed as a national park in 
the future, deed restrictions would be implemented to prevent 
residential development in the historic slag pile area. The data 
presented in the Second Five-Year Review Report, signed on March 27, 
2008, showed that no development had occurred to date and that the 
stamp sands and slag at the Site continued to erode into the Portage 
Channel, degrading the environment and weakening the integrity and 
protectiveness of the overall remedy.
    Based upon this information, EPA determined that it was appropriate 
to modify the remedy selected in the 1992 ROD. A ROD amendment, signed 
in July 2009, selected a soil and vegetative cover at Quincy Smelter, 
consistent with other stamp sand areas in OU3, to minimize erosion and 
aerial deposition of the stamp sands. Institutional controls (ICs) were 
also implemented to protect the long-term integrity of the cover 
materials and minimize direct contact with the stamp sands and slag 
piles. The area addressed with vegetative cover encompasses about 6.5 
acres which are situated outside of the currently fenced buildings and 
structures.

Remedial Design (RD)

    In August 1994, an Interagency Agreement (IAG) was signed with the 
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Natural Resources 
Conservation Service (NRCS) to perform RD work. The RD was conducted in 
conformance with the 1992 ROD and was completed for the entire Site in 
September 1998. At that time, the IAG with USDA-NRCS was amended to 
perform remedial action (RA) management and oversight. The September 
1998 IAG was funded with $13.8 million, and the Michigan Department of 
Environmental Quality (MDEQ) provided a $1.52 million match for the RA 
work. The construction schedule was set at six years (1999-2004). It 
was estimated in the 1992 ROD that remedy implementation time would be 
five years. Other factors that influenced the construction schedule 
included the restricted availability of USDA-NRCS engineers and the 
relatively short construction season due to the northerly location of 
the Site.

Construction Activities

    On-site construction began in June 1999 and was completed in 
September 2005. A Preliminary Close-Out Report documenting construction 
completion was signed on September 23, 2005.

OU1

    In April 2002, EPA and MDEQ determined that the remedy was 
functioning as intended, and a partial NPL deletion of the Lake Linden 
parcel, in addition to all of OU2, was finalized. The Hubbell/Tamarack 
City parcels were deleted from the NPL via a partial deletion in 2004.

OU2

    No remedial work was required as part of the OU2 No Action ROD. 
Thus, there were no construction activities for this OU. EPA deleted 
OU2 in the April 2002 partial NPL deletion.

OU3

    Construction activities at Calumet Lake were completed in late 
October 2003. Shoreline protection, including rip-rap rock, was also 
installed along much of the shoreline where the remedy was implemented. 
The rip-rap rock (boulders averaging about one-foot in diameter with a 
specified density and integrity) protects the remedy from wave erosion.
    RA construction activities were performed at Calumet Lake in 
accordance with approved the design and specifications. It is 
anticipated that the cover material and shoreline protection installed 
at the Site will continue to meet the RAOs established for the Site.
    The Quincy Smelter portion of the Site was originally excluded from 
the vegetative soil cover remedy in the 1992 ROD for OU1 and OU3, as 
described previously, assuming that the on-site slag pile would be 
developed as part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park. The 1992 
ROD further stated that if this area was not developed as a national 
park, deed restrictions would be sought to prevent residential 
development in the slag pile area.
    In July 2005, EPA removed asbestos from two buildings at Quincy 
Smelter as part of a time-critical removal action. In August and 
September 2005, EPA installed rip-rap along the shoreline and a water 
diversion system to prevent storm water from running directly into the 
Keweenaw Waterway. A fence was also constructed around the buildings. 
On September 13, 2005, EPA inspected the rip-rap and storm water 
culvert and found it to be in compliance with all design 
specifications.
    In July 2006, the Keweenaw National Historical Park observed and 
notified EPA of continued erosion along the shoreline. During a site 
inspection in June 2007, EPA and MDEQ documented the level of 
continuing erosion at the Quincy Smelter, as well as the continued 
deterioration of buildings. EPA discussed the need for further actions 
at the property and possible solutions with the National Park Service, 
Franklin Township, and other stakeholders. As a result of these 
communications, EPA conducted a removal action at Quincy Smelter in 
2008 to stabilize area conditions.
    A ROD amendment was signed on July 31, 2009 selecting a vegetative 
cover for the stamp sands on the Quincy Smelter portion of the site. 
The 1992 ROD selected no action for the Quincy Smelter area because 
there were plans to develop the area as a national park. A national 
park was not developed by 2009, and no ICs were implemented for that 
area. As a result, EPA determined that additional remedial action at 
Quincy Smelter was necessary. The ROD amendment required the 
implementation of the same vegetative cover at Quincy Smelter as the 
rest of the site. This included placing an earthen cover over the stamp 
sands, debris removal, seeding and mulching, lined channel/shoreline/
slope protection, access road construction,

[[Page 49944]]

and installation of a fence and metal gates to secure the site.

Institutional Controls (ICs)

    In 1994, EPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) to all 
affected landowners requiring them, within six months of the AOC, to 
implement the appropriate deed restrictions on their property. The deed 
restrictions run with the land and bind future owners to the 
restrictions. These ICs serve to protect vegetative cover and thus 
prevent residual mining contamination from entering surface water by 
ensuring that no disturbance of vegetative cover occurs. If disturbance 
occurs, the owner is required to replace soil and repair vegetative 
cover. There are restrictive covenants in place on approximately half 
of the properties at the Torch Lake Superfund Site. The ICs for the 
parcels proposed for deletion, Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake, are in 
place and effective. The following restriction applies at these 
parcels: if during the process of any development, building, 
construction, or other activity on the property by or with consent from 
the owner of the property, the cover is disturbed so that upon 
completion of the development, construction, building or other activity 
on the property by or with consent of the owner of the property stamp 
sand is exposed, then the owner of the property shall cover the exposed 
stamp sand and shall re-vegetate the re-covered area.

Cleanup Goals

    The objectives of the remedies were to control exposures to Site 
contaminants and control erosion of stamp sands, tailings, and slag to 
the surface water and sediments by covering with vegetation. The 
remedial actions at Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake are operational and 
functional. The remedial actions are functioning properly and 
performing as designed.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M)

    EPA conducted activities necessary to ensure that the implemented 
remedy at Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake was operational and 
functional for a period of three years after the remedial construction 
at the last parcel. The remedy was jointly determined by EPA and MDEQ 
to be functioning properly and performing as designed in September 
2008. EPA conducted annual observations of the remediated areas for 
three years after construction, and conducted major repairs, as 
necessary, on each area where the remedy was implemented.
    MDEQ will be conducting O&M of the shoreline protection and cover 
material. In accordance with the September 1998 Superfund Site Contract 
signed by EPA and MDEQ, O&M was to begin three years after the remedy 
implementation or when the remedy was jointly determined by EPA and 
MDEQ to be functioning properly as designed, whichever is earlier. This 
milestone was reached in September 2008 for Calumet Lake and Quincy 
Smelter, along with several other Torch Lake property parcels. EPA has 
conducted sampling since then and has been working with the State to 
finalize a revised O&M plan to fit the new estimated recovery time for 
the sediment. MDEQ will be conducting the O&M at Quincy Smelter and 
Calumet Lake.

Five-Year Review (FYR)

    EPA conducted its most recent FYR at the Site in March 2013. The 
2013 FYR noted that the remedy at OU3, which includes Quincy Smelter 
and Calumet Lake, is protective of human health and the environment in 
the short-term. This FYR calls for continued documentation from 
landowners at the Site to verify proper deed and permitting 
restrictions are in place on wells screened in the stamp sands on other 
parcels of OU1 and OU3. Additionally, a lack of vegetative cover exists 
on certain properties of Point Mills. There is also a recommendation to 
work with the Houghton County Road Commission to ensure that road 
traction tailings excavation practices at Point Mills are consistent 
with the 1992 ROD. However, the parcels proposed for this deletion did 
not have any issues affecting protectiveness.

Community Involvement

    Public participation activities have been satisfied as required in 
CERCLA section 113(k), 42 U.S.C. 9613(k), and CERCLA section 117, 42 
U.S.C. 9617. Documents in the deletion docket, which EPA relied on for 
recommendation of the partial deletion of this Site from the NPL, are 
available to the public in the information repositories and at 
www.regulations.gov. Documents in the docket include maps which 
identify the specific parcels of land that are proposed in this Notice 
(Quincy Smelter and Calumet Lake).

Determination That the Site Meets the Criteria for Deletion in the NCP

    The NCP (40 CFR 300.425(e)) states that portions of a site may be 
deleted from the NPL when no further response action is appropriate. 
EPA, in consultation with the State of Michigan, has determined that no 
further action is appropriate.

V. Deletion Action

    EPA, with concurrence of the State of Michigan through MDEQ, has 
determined that all appropriate response actions under CERCLA, other 
than operation, maintenance, and five-year reviews, have been 
completed. Therefore, EPA is deleting the Quincy Smelter and Calumet 
Lake parcels of OU3 of the Torch Lake Superfund Site from the NPL.
    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and 
routine, EPA is taking it without prior publication. This action will 
be effective October 15, 2013 unless EPA receives adverse comments by 
September 16, 2013. If adverse comments are received within the 30-day 
public comment period, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of this 
direct final notice of partial deletion before the effective date of 
the partial deletion and it will not take effect. EPA will prepare a 
response to comments and continue with the deletion process on the 
basis of the notice of intent to partially delete and the comments 
already received. There will be no additional opportunity to comment.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water 
pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: July 25, 2013.
Susan Hedman,
Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    For the reasons set out in this document, 40 CFR part 300 is 
amended as follows:

PART 300--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 
12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 
2923; 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193.

Appendix B--[Amended]

0
2. Table 1 of Appendix B to part 300 is amended under Michigan ``MI'' 
by revising the entry for '' Torch Lake'', ``Houghton County, 
Michigan''.

Appendix B to Part 300--National Priorities List

[[Page 49945]]



                   Table 1--General Superfund Section
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    State            Site name           City/County         Notes (a)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
MI...........  Torch Lake..........  Houghton...........  P
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(a) * * *
* P = Sites with partial deletion(s).

[FR Doc. 2013-19759 Filed 8-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P