AAR Corp., Michigan Reach Deal On Contamination

CADILLAC, Mich. (AP) -- Groundwater contamination linked to a plant in northwestern lower Michigan that makes air cargo containers for the military will be cleaned up as part of an agreement between the state and the manufacturer, officials said.

Contamination from the degreaser trichloroethylene, which can cause cancer, was found at the AAR Cadillac Manufacturing property in the 1980s. Under a settlement announced Thursday, new groundwater monitoring will be installed and contamination from under the AAR building will be removed.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environment said the agreement will resolve issues surrounding trichloroethylene contamination from the property.

"I am glad we were able to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of both parties, as well as the people of Cadillac," DNRE Director Rebecca Humphries said in a statement. "This settlement represents progress toward addressing this long-standing problem."

Lee Krantz, general manager of the facility, said in a statement Friday that the company is encouraged to be working with the state on the cleanup. He said AAR Cadillac has been proactive since the potential contamination was identified.

"We're committed to operating a safe facility in a manner that preserves and protects the natural resources in and around Cadillac," Krantz said.

AAR Cadillac, which does business as AAR Mobility Systems, is part of Wood Dale, Ill.-based AAR Corp.

In 2003, the state issued an administrative order requiring a study of contamination and the cleanup. The state has said contamination at the site about 35 miles southeast of Traverse City in part came from a previous owner.

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