Owners of toxic site along Detroit River missed deadline for cleanup plan

Detroit Bulk Storage collapsed Nov. 26

The owners of a toxic site along the Detroit River missed the deadline for a cleanup plan.

DETROIT – Concerns are being raised over the cleanup of a contaminated site that collapsed into the Detroit river in November.

Drone footage captured a massive hole that formed on the site.

The owner of the property was supposed to give the state a remediation plan on Dec. 26, but the state said nothing has been turned in.

“We know objectively there is contamination in the soil,” said Detroit Windsor Truck Ferry president Gregg Ward. "We know that soil is being eroded into the Detroit River every minute as the river water rushes against the soil.”

The former Revere Copper and Brass site on the Detroit riverfront has been listed for decades as a contaminated site due to its use of uranium and other dangerous chemicals in the 40′s during the race to build the worlds first atomic bomb.

“They found all these chemicals in the soil. We know that it is there. It’s not someones memory,” Ward said. “That’s objective material and all that’s in the river right now and more of it is going into the river as the sink hole progresses.”

According to documents, Erickson’s -- who owns the site -- had to submit a restoration plan to the state within fifteen dates of receiving a Dec. 11 letter from The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

The letter goes on to state, “river sediments beneath the unauthorized fill material contains elevated concentrations of contaminants," and urges the owner to “please consider an interim activity that would protect the now exposed shoreline.”

It’s believed as temperatures drop and ice starts to form in the river, the damage to the spill site will become worse.

Local 4 Defenders reached out to Erickson’s and Detroit Bulk, who leased the site and was storing the aggregate that collapsed into the river, but have not heard back as of Wednesday afternoon.

EGLE said there is no threat to drinking water and that they tested three areas: upstream from the collapse, adjacent to the site and downstream. The EGLE said these are “true samples analyzed by our highly qualified lab technicians in Lansing," and they stand by their results.

Meanwhile, EGLE is being criticized for how its handling the green ooze seeping onto I-696 in Madison Heights.

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.