Official releases statement addressing major concerns on Madison Heights contamination site

Candice Miller says it is clear agencies didn’t adequately follow through with initial clean up

A green substance oozes onto I-696 in Madison Heights. (WDIV)
A green substance oozes onto I-696 in Madison Heights. (WDIV)

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – On Sunday while the Environmental Protection Agency had extra crews in Madison Heights working to prevent the green chemical ooze on I-696 from spreading into the sewer system and Lake St. Clair, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller released a statement on the contamination site.

Read: Crews in Madison Heights work to prevent green ooze from spreading into sewer system and Lake St. Clair

Read more: Crews continue cleanup after green chemical substance oozes onto I-696

Miller’s statement can be read below.

"Sunday’s rainfall brings into sharp focus the danger to our Great Lakes and drinking water system from a contaminated business in Madison Heights that leached Chromium-6 and other chemicals onto I-696 and its underground drainage system. All storm water in metro Detroit is either absorbed into the ground or eventually ends up in Lake St. Clair or another portion of the Great Lakes system.

We are all watching closely now as we are eager to see what steps are made to clean up this mess at the former Electro-Plating Services building in Madison Heights. The owner of this business has already been sentenced to prison for his abuse of the environment with these chemicals. It is clear from the current situation that either the federal EPA or the state EGLE did not adequately follow through with the initial clean up. Both agencies need to ensure that this clean up is done right, to ensure the safety of the surrounding community and to ensure this material does not enter the lake.

The reality is, we don’t know how long these chemicals are leaking and so we don’t know where they may have traveled. But we know it has to stop now. EGLE and EPA have to step up to protect our communities and our lake," said Miller in the statement.

Miller added that she’s concerned about a recent statement put out by EGLE, stating that the Chromium-6 or other chemicals from the Madison Heights location will not present a health issue to Lake St. Clair.

“Dilution is not a solution and that is not the correct response,” Miller said.

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.