Cyanide, other contaminants found near condemned Madison Heights business

Officials test substance on I-696

Test results show contaminants in the groundwater near a condemned Madison Heights business.
Test results show contaminants in the groundwater near a condemned Madison Heights business.

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Test results show contaminants in the groundwater near a condemned Madison Heights business.

Chromium, trichloroethylene (TCE) and cyanide were all found in the groundwater between Electro-Plating Services and the I-696 service drive.

The Environmental Protection Agency performed testing after a green substance was found seeping onto the freeway on Dec. 20.

MORE: Everything we know about the green substance on I-696

Police say a substance leaking onto I-696 is hexavalent chromium. (WDIV)

According to officials, that substance is hexavalent chromium.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said there is no threat to drinking water.

Hexavalent chromium was found at at 0.14 milligrams per liter. The standard for drinking water is 0.10 milligrams per liter.

The storm sewer eventually enters Lake St. Clair miles away, EGLE said. By the time the substance would get to the lake, “concentrations would be well below detectable levels although still a significant concern for incremental accumulation in the ecosystem,” EGLE said.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller is concerned about the initial cleanup at Electro-Plating Services. It was a massive undertaking in 2016 after multiple citations were issued to the business.

“Whoever said that they cleaned up that site, no one would agree with that,” Miller said.

Miller said she is contacting the EPA to ensure the site is properly cleaned.

“I’m trying to raise the alarms here to make sure that the proper officials, the EPA and the state EGLE department, the environment, make sure that the cleanup that happens now is much, much more aggressive and impactful than what they did initially,” she said.

Below are photos from inside the business during the initial cleanup:

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Sludge drying in basement -- hazardous waste used as berm material (WDIV)