Officials: Green substance on I-696 poses no threat to drinking water

Hexavalent chromium leaks onto freeway

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

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Officials continue to maintain that the green substance found last week on I-696 in Madison Heights poses no threat to drinking water.

Test results officially identified the substance as hexavalent chromium.

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

While the storm drains on the freeway lead to the Clinton River, which eventually dumps into Lake St. Clair, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said levels of hexavalent chromium would be low by the time they reach the lake.

However, there is "still a significant concern for incremental accumulation in the ecosystem,” according to ELGE.

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

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

READ: Cyanide, other contaminants found near condemned Madison Heights business

Officials said the substance discovered Dec. 20 oozing out of the embankment onto eastbound I-696 near Couzens Road was coming from the business. Electro-Plating Services was the site of a massive cleanup in 2016.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller is pushing for a more thorough cleanup this time around.

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

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