MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — An industrial site in suburban Detroit from which a greenish stream of contaminated water leaked onto a freeway will be considered for the federal Superfund cleanup program, Michigan officials said Friday.
The state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said an evaluation of the Electro-Plating Services Inc. site will be completed this spring. It will be based on dozens of soil and water samples being taken by the department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The chrome plating company in Madison Heights was shut down by state regulators in 2016 due to mismanagement of industrial waste. An EPA cleanup removed toxic chemicals and contaminated liquids.
The leak of bright green goo onto the shoulder of Interstate 696 last month prompted a new investigation. It found high levels of numerous toxins in soil and groundwater at the site, including hexavalent chromium, which is associated with cancer, kidney and liver damage.
The Superfund program enables EPA to arrange cleanup of highly contaminated sites by requiring polluters to pay for the work or using government funds when responsible parties can’t be found.
Michigan officials said Friday they also had detected high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, in water collected by a sump pump in the facility’s basement.
PFAS are chemicals used in a wide variety of industrial and household products that have been linked to kidney and liver damage, thyroid disease, fertility problems and low birth weight.
The Michigan agency said water sampled from the basement pit contained levels of one PFAS compound, known as PFOS, at a level of 742 parts per trillion, far exceeding Michigan’s groundwater standard of 70 ppt.
The environmental department said the recovered water will be treated to remove the compounds and other pollution before disposal.
Featured image: This photo provided by Michigan Department of Transportation toxic chemical substances leaked along Interstate 696 in Madison Heights, Mich., on Dec. 20, 2019. (Michigan Department of Transportation via AP)