MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Officials said it could be days before the cleanup of a chemical liquid on I-696 is completed.
The bright green liquid has been identified as hexavalent chromium. The chemical started flowing onto the eastbound lanes of I-696 near Couzens Road.
The chemical is typically used in plating facilities and is coming from the basement of Electro-Plating Services on 10 Mile Road -- a condemned business whose owner was recently sentenced for storing hazardous waste without a permit.
Jill Greenberg, with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, said officials are working to clean the substance that found its way through a drainpipe to the freeway.
“We have cleaned out the sewers and the clean out drains between the facility and 696,” Greenberg said. “We’re also in the process of cleaning up the basement of the facility.”
The cleanup is expected to take all weekend.
Samples of the substance were taken by the Environmental Protection Agency for testing. Results are predicted to be available within a week.
Tricia Edwards, with the EPA, said the cleanup is going to take time because there is a lot of clay in the area, and the substance is traveling onto the clay.
An excavator is going to be used scoop up the waste, which is frozen, and put it into a safe container, police said.
In the meantime, the Macomb County Public Works is monitoring the situation because anything that enters storm drains along I-696 ends up in Lake St. Clair.
The agencies involved in the investigation and the cleanup will meet Sunday to finalize plans.
The far right lane on I-696 at Couzens Road will be closed until at least Monday.
It was later advised a commercial building located on E 10 Mile Road, had been leaking the chemical Hexavelent Chromium. The chemical ran from the basement of the building, down into the ground and found its way thru a drain which empties onto east bound I-696.— MSP Metro Detroit (@mspmetrodet) December 21, 2019