Contaminated dirt may have been used to fill demolition sites in Detroit neighborhoods

Contractors subpoenaed as part of the federal probe

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Natasha Dado

DETROIT - The federal government is investigating whether dirt from two major construction projects ended up in the wrong place.

Contaminated dirt may have been used to fill demolition sites in Detroit. The dirt potentially used in Detroit neighborhoods is a part of an ongoing federal probe of the city’s demolition program. 

Detroit averages around 100 demolitions a week and massive holes get left behind. The question is, where is the dirt used to fill the holes coming from?

Environmentalists are concerned, because they say if there is a water main break and you lose pressure, the contamination can get into the pipes and eventually make its way into drinking water. 

The federal probe into Detroit’s demolition program revealed that contaminated dirt may have been used to fill demolition sites, and it is unclear how widespread the problem can be.  

Nothing has been proved showing the dirt is contaminated.

"Right now what our records show us is that it is unapproved soil.” said Brian Farkas, director of special projects for the city’s Building Authority. 

Contractors are being subpoenaed as part of the federal probe.

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