MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Michigan State Police say a substance leaking onto I-696 in Madison Heights is hexavalent chromium coming from a nearby business.
Hexavalent chromium is often produced during industrial processes. The chemical is known to cause cancer and targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Sewers were vacuumed overnight, and crews are now cleaning the basement of Electro-Plating Services, a condemned business.
The owner of the business was recently sentenced after he pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit.
The substance started flowing onto the eastbound side of the freeway near Couzens Road on Friday.
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.
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