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State, feds give update on green ooze contamination site in Madison Heights

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Posted at 9:50 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 23:14:06-05

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The U.S. EPA and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, provided an update to residents on the green ooze site in Madison Heights on Tuesday night.

It's been more than a year since green ooze began leaking out onto I-696. It was later identified as hexavalent chromium from the site of the former Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights. The EPA has removed more than 300,000 gallons of the contaminated liquid from the site, then installed an interceptor trench to help monitor the water for the future.

Officials revealed that once the interceptor trench was put in place, there was an immediate drop in hexavalent chromium in the storm sewers. Treatment chemicals were then injected into the soil. State officials say groundwater will flow through the injected areas and any contaminates will be treated.

Panelists from the EPA, EGLE, Materials Management Division, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the City of Madison Heights all participated in the virtual meeting.

Gary Sayers, the owner of the former Electro-Plating Services company, was sentenced to one year in prison for storing the hazardous chemicals and is in ongoing litigation with the city of Madison Heights.

The mayor for Madison Heights, Roslyn Grafstein, sent 7 Action News a statement that reads in part, “I want to personally thank Tricia Edwards of the EPA and Traci Kecskemeti from EGLE for all the work they have done over the last year to get this site cleaned up. I appreciate everything they have done to get us to this point and look forward to a complete demolition and remediation of the site.”

State officials say a lot of work has been done to clean up the site but there is still a long way to go.

The EPA says that water will continue to come out onto the interstate. The sight will now be turned over to EGLE next week.