Toxic ooze investigation: What’s next at Madison Heights, Detroit, Sanilac County sites

Cleanup efforts continue

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – While initial test results showed some positive news, the toxic ooze investigation that started in Madison Heights is ongoing.

Officials said tests taken at a Deckerville property and the Commonwealth Industry building in Detroit did not show hexavalent chromium.

Testing was done at the sites after a green substance was found on I-696 last month. The substance was coming from the condemned Electro-Plating Services, which was owned by Gary Sayers. Sayers also owns the Deckerville property and owned the Commonwealth building at one point, leading to the investigation.

READ: Discovery of substance on I-696 leads to multi-county contamination investigation

Officials said the threat to public health in Detroit and Sanilac County is low, but there is more to the investigation and cleanup process.

Madison Heights

A third tank was installed to collect contaminated groundwater near Electro-Plating Services.

So far, tanks have collected 37,000 gallons of the contaminated groundwater, and about 7,000 gallons have been removed from the site.

The Environmental Protection Agency also took samples from an area south of 10 Mile Road in Hazel Park to see if any chemicals traveled. Those results are expected in 7-10 days.

A townhall will be held Feb. 3 to give residents near the site the latest test results and updates.


The city of Detroit has been working to secure the Commonwealth site with fences and signs to keep people out of the building.

Heavy metals were detected at the site. That will need to be disposed of as non-hazardous waste, and the city wants to clean it up, but it could take time.


Silver, mercury and chromium were found in the soil at the Deckerville property, but the levels weren’t high enough to cause a public health issue.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy took samples from two drinking wells at homes near Sayers’ Sanilac County property. Those results could take up to two weeks to be returned.

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