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Discovery of green substance on I-696 leads to multi-county contamination investigation

Hexavalent chromium leaks from condemned business

A bright green substance started flowing onto I-696 in Madison Heights on Dec. 20, 2019. (WDIV)
A bright green substance started flowing onto I-696 in Madison Heights on Dec. 20, 2019. (WDIV)

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The discovery of a green substance seeping onto I-696 in Madison Heights last month led to an investigation into just how far contamination may have spread.

The substance, identified as hexavalent chromium, was discovered on the eastbound side of the roadway, near the Couzens Road exit, on Dec. 20, 2019.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently created a page on its website dedicated to the site.

Where is it coming from?

Officials said the substance is coming from the basement of the now-condemned Electro-Plating Services on 10 Mile Road, which was the site of a massive cleanup in 2016 due to improperly stored hazardous waste.

The business had been cited by state officials for lack of compliance for nearly two decades before it was finally permanently closed after the complaints received in 2016.

MORE: Contamination near Madison Heights business follows decades of violations

Inspectors previously found an estimated 5,000 containers of hazardous waste and materials that were improperly stored, unlabeled, open and corroded or in very poor condition at Electro-Plating Services.