City of Detroit pursuing legal action against owners of toxic site that collapsed into Detroit River

Detroit Bulk Storage collapsed Nov. 26

DETROIT – The cleanup of the former Revere Copper and Brass site that collapsed into the Detroit River is causing significant concern among residents with lead exceeding national guidelines, a growing sinkhole and an obscene unpaid bill -- nearly $63,000 is owed.

In November, part of a site contaminated with uranium collapsed into the Detroit River. Recent testing has detected uranium and cyanide in the soil and water. However, the Environment Protection Agency said the numbers are below what is required for cleanup.

The EPA said the lead exceeded its removal management level and the agency is working with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to conduct further testing at the site.

The lead levels don’t pose a threat to the general public, the EPA said, but those who live and work along the river are worried as the river continues to crash against the site and the sinkhole continues to expand.

“It’s changing rapidly,” said Detroit Windsor Truck Ferry president Gregg Ward. “One, it’s becoming more profound in the sinkhole. And, two, the color is quite bizarre. This green funky color which is different from the river.”

Ward said he wants to see a cleanup plan in action before the sinkhole grows even larger.

“All that river erodes into the soil continuously,” Ward said. “Pretty soon we’re going to have ice in the river. That’s going to do further damage to the spill site because the ice is very powerful.”

Not only is this Jefferson Avenue site that leases to Detroit Bulk Storage under criticism for how it operated, but Reveree Dock -- the holding company for Erickson’s, who owns the land -- owes the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department $62,825.

Local 4 Defenders contacted the city Thursday and was told “the responsible party have not made any payments.”

The city of Detroit is now pursuing legal action.

Erickson’s and Detroit Bulk were recently cited for not meeting a Dec. 26 deadline to send the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy a restoration plan to fix the mess. EGLE continues to wait for the company’s plan, but hasn’t issued any fines despite the deadline being missed.

As of Thursday afternoon, Erickson’s and Detroit Bulk Storage have not responded to Local 4′s calls.

Statement from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the EPA, and the unpaid bill can be seen below.

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