North American Dismantling
Clears GM Foundry in Saginaw
Demolition - November/December 2010
American Dismantling Corporation (NADC), a nationwide company located
in Lapeer Michigan, specializes in heavy industrial demolition,
strip outs, and many other aspects of specialty demolition. NADC
also has extensive experience in environmental assessment and remediation,
project engineering and specialty construction.
Recently, NADC, as the prime contractor, has completed the demolition
of an old GM Malleable Iron Foundry, once a thriving industrial
facility, located in Saginaw, Michigan.
The massive one-million sq. ft. General Motors facility is centered
on a 275-acre site and opened its doors for production of metal
sand-mold castings in 1917. The foundry continued to supply the
automotive market for ninety years until the foundry permanently
closed its doors in June of 2007. The complex boasts a nine-story
building as well as a single story plant with towering 30-ft. ceilings.
There are many tunnels, pits and basements, all of which North American
Dismantling must contend with. The foundry also includes additional
outbuildings such as a maintenance facility, a recycled water treatment
facility, employee locker rooms, and numerous storage buildings
and utility sheds including an oil shed, light non-aqueous phase
liquids pump and treatment shed, a malleable substation, and butler's
North American Dismantling began remediation
work on the foundry in November of 2009. Commissioned by Motors
Liquidation Company of Detroit (formerly General Motors),
the $15 million dollar project was recently completed. NADC's
scope of work called for the total demolition and removal
of all structures down to the concrete foundations.
"One of the first steps in the demolition process involves
asbestos remediation, environmental cleaning and testing -
using various testing procedures to ensure we are meeting
or exceeding the criteria set forth in the U.S. EPA's plan"
say Dan Clark, both a project manager and estimator for North
"We have contracted with EQ Industrial Services (EQIS)
of Ypsilanti, Michigan to blast and powerwash the interior
before we demolish the building."
In 2007 General Motors completed a Facility Environmental
Plan (FEA) indicating a large amount of PCB-contaminated material
existed throughout the facility that included sludge, dust,
and contaminated water. Possibly one of the most challenging
aspects of this contamination was the accumulation of PCB's
between layers of lead paint on the building structure itself.
The facility also used asbestos-clad systems which added yet
another pollutant to be dealt with.
Subcontractor National Environmental Group of Flint, Michigan was
responsible for both lead and asbestos abatement. In addition to
the widespread PCB, lead, and asbestos contamination, there was
universal wastes, heavy metals, and other ACMs, all of which needed
to be addressed by North American Dismantling.
The remediation process included the sealing off the storm sewers,
capturing any water used in powerwashing and cleaning of the contaminants,
and vacuuming hazardous and non-hazardous dust and debris, all of
which must be disposed of properly.
With all of this in the hands of North American Dismantling, Dan
Clark says, "we wrote a comprehensive self-implementing testing
plan that was approved by the EPA before we even started. "
Clark stated, "We're quite proud of our environmental plan
for the Saginaw site. Extensive pre and post cleaning samples were
collected to delineate the extent of any contamination. Everything
was delineated, dismantled and hauled offsite for recycling or proper
disposal at the appropriate landfills. As a result an estimate of
over 90% of the steel and other building material for the site were
tested and recycled.
With the remediation and environmental cleaning finalized, NADC
completed the demolition of an estimated 20,000 tons of ferrous
and non-ferrous materials, which was processed and prepared for
recycling by North American Dismantling fleet of Caterpillar and
Volvo hydraulic excavators, as well as many other types of specialty
"We were awarded this contract because of our experience,
manpower, and strong health and safety records" states Clark.
"Because of the extensive cleanup required, this will be one
of our more challenging projects but I'm confident we'll do a great
GM's Saginaw Malleable Iron Foundry, once a thriving manufacturing
facility that became contaminated by an array of toxic pollutants,
is now in the process of being cleared in an environmentally sound
manner with the site being reclaimed by mature, pollutant free,
contaminant free, and facility free, all with the expertise of North
American Dismantling Corporation.
Reprinted with permission.
Demolition Magazine - November/December 2010 2010
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