New concerns raised about contaminated site in Madison Heights

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The city of Madison Heights has already condemned Electro-Plating Services on 10 Mile Road and is asking an Oakland County judge to force the owner, Gary Sayers, to tear it down and clean up the land.

Gary Sayers headed to prison recently after he pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit. Hexavalent chromium was discovered on the eastbound side of the roadway, near the Couzens Road exit, on Dec. 20, 2019.

Investigators from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy detailed for the judge the poor condition of the property.

“This is the worst site I’ve ever seen,” Jeff Lippert, with the EPA, told the court.

When federal authorities first got in the building in 2016 it had a chemical stew of chromium, cyanide and various acids all leaking form dilapidated containers or thrown in pits in the floor.

“It was almost a hoarding situation,” Tracy Keckskemeti, from EGLE, said.

Not only did Sayers not follow correct protocol, according to the witnesses, but he wasn’t permitted for these chemicals either.

“The evidence is going to show Sayers had numerous opportunities to repair these buildings,” attorney Jeffrey Sherman said. “He has never presented a single plan to repair these properties, never.”

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