37ºF

New video shows officials removing samples of potentially hazardous liquid from Detroit building

Gary Sayers owns both properties in Madison Heights, Detroit

DETROIT – Local 4 has new video of investigators removing what appear to be samples of potentially hazardous liquid from a Detroit building connected to the leak in Madison Heights.

Officials discovered suspicious liquids resembling the green ooze that leaked onto I-696 in Madison Heights in pits at a Detroit building owned by the same person, according to authorities.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy investigated chemicals at a building in the 5900 block of Commonwealth Street. The building is owned by Gary Sayers, who also owns the Electro-Plating Services building that leaked green ooze onto eastbound I-696, officials said.

A cooler and several containers were loaded into an environmental service truck, Local 4′s Hank Winchester reports. Detroit firefighters and city inspectors were also at the scene. he said.

Sayers was recently imprisoned for violations of environmental laws in connection with the Madison Heights incident, police said.

Detroit firefighters said they found suspicious liquids in several pits at the Commonwealth Street location during a Friday search. Some pits were empty, but others were partially filled with liquid, authorities said.

Some of that liquid resembled the green ooze from Sayers’ Madison Heights facility, according to officials.

EGLE officials expect to test the liquids from the pits Monday to identify them and determine how to dispose of them safely.

Authorities said they’re not aware of any wells that could have been contaminated. The site is several miles from municipal intakes in the Detroit River, according to authorities.

Officials said they will determine whether the pits leaked into the environment once they’re emptied.

The right lane of eastbound I-696 reopened Sunday at the Couzens Avenue exit after crews closed it to work on the contamination site. The shoulder, exit ramp and service drive will be closed indefinitely, officials announced.

Authorities also recovered more than 4,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater at the Madison Heights facility during rainstorms over the weekend, officials said. Since sump pumps were installed by the Environmental Protection Agency around Christmas, more than 20,000 gallons of contaminated liquid have been recovered.

A glycol heater and and insulated pipes were added to the Madison Heights operation to protect it from freezing temperatures, police said.

Soil and groundwater samples taken from locations near Madison Heights will be evaluated in the coming weeks, according to authorities.

Samples from storm sewers and Bear Creek, where the sewer water emerges and becomes surface water, were taken by EGLE officials last week, officials said. Results are expected this week.

Previous coverage


About the Author: