City of Detroit admits business tied to sinkhole operated without a permit

Local 4 Defender Karen Drew holds City of Detroit accountable after it admits to big mistake

DETROIT – Local 4 Defenders are holding Detroit city officials accountable after they admitted they made a big mistake allowing a company to operate for years without a permit.

The business and landowner were recently cited for allowing confirmed contaminated soils into the Detroit River after its dock collapsed. After that collapse a huge sinkhole formed.

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

Local 4 did some digging and discovered no permit was ever issued for Detroit Bulk Storage and Revere Copper, LLC. to store aggregate on their land. The lack of permit didn’t stop them, for years construction material has been stored on a Jefferson Avenue property.

Local 4′s Karen Drew sat down with Dave Bell, the director of Detroit’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department (BSEED).

“They had no permit whatsoever to operate an outdoor storage facility on that property,” Bell said.

According to the city, Revere Copper bought the property in 2015 and leased it to Bulk Storage. The issue was that neither had permission to store aggregate on the land, but they continued to do so for years. The city had an inspector visit the site in 2018.

After the heavy weight of the illegal construction material they were storing collapsed a dock and formed a sink hole in November, the city issued a violation notice on Dec. 6.

“They had to provide a structural analysis of the property as it relates to storage of material and how it affects the land underneath. They also had to remove everything off the property,” Bell said.

The city is charging Revere Copper and Detroit Bulk Storage with a $3,000 a day violation until they either remove all the material from the site or get a permit that allows them to do that business.

The city said they are starting annual inspection of industrial sites immediately.

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

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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.