Skirt installed around toxic site that collapsed into Detroit River to prevent more erosion

Larger skirt to be installed

Officials meet, demand action on contaminated sinkhole
Officials meet, demand action on contaminated sinkhole

DETROIT – Action is being taken after a toxic site collapsed into the Detroit River last year.

Officials were told a 5-foot skirt was installed around the former Revere Copper and Brass site, and a 20-foot skirt is going to be installed later this month to prevent more erosion.


In November, part of a site contaminated with uranium collapsed into the river. A sinkhole formed at the site.

Recent testing has detected uranium and cyanide in the soil and water. However, the Environment Protection Agency said the numbers are below what is required for cleanup.

The EPA said “the longer silt curtain will be more effective in decreasing turbidity in the water column.”

Sources said that during a meeting between the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the EPA, the city, Detroit Bulk Storage and Revere Dock LLC, and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, many people said “it was completely unacceptable that no response has yet been submitted far past the December due date.”

The storage company met Friday’s deadline to submit a remediation plan. In the meantime, more testing will be done. The Coast Guard is monitoring the site and will start taking aerial photos.

An EPA spokesperson shared what has been and will be done at the site:

“Detroit Bulk Storage told EPA they removed additional limestone aggregate from the ponded area, which is why it is deeper. To verify this, river soundings will be taken in the Detroit River at the end of the month. Those soundings will be compared to soundings taken on Nov 29. If there is additional material in the river, it would be an indication of additional subsidence. USCG will also begin taking aerial photos of the site. The issue of weather conditions was discussed during yesterday’s meeting. The owner’s consultant, G2 Engineering, told the group that additional rain will not impact slope stability.”

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.