Toxic ooze investigation: EPA testing in Hazel Park, south of condemned Madison Heights building

EPA testing to see if chemicals traveled south from Madison Heights building

EPA testing in Hazel Park on Jan. 21, 2020. (WDIV)

HAZEL PARK, Mich. – Local 4 cameras were there Tuesday as new testing started near the building owned by Gary Sayers in Madison Heights.

Crews from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been at the building conducting testing after toxic chemicals were found along I-696 and linked to the building.

The testing being done Tuesday is along the south side of 10 Mile Road, which is actually in the city of Hazel Park.

EPA crews are taking various soil samples to determine if any contaminants have traveled south of the building owned by Sayers.

Several business owners were just notified this testing would be done, but they also say they’ve received little information from state or federal agencies as this case unfolds just feet away.

Sayers owns the building which housed the now-condemned Electro-Plating Services on 10 Mile Road. It was the site of a massive cleanup in 2016 due to improperly stored hazardous waste. Sayers was recently sentenced after he pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit. He went to prison this month.

The city of Madison Heights has filed a civil lawsuit against him as it wants him to demolish the building after the EPA ordered him to pay $1.5 million for cleanup costs. That civil trial got underway Jan. 13 in Oakland County Circuit Court and has continued into a second week.

Green ooze similar to what was found on I-696 might be linked to the ooze found in a Detroit building -- the Commonwealth Industry building on Commonwealth Street. Sayers owns that building, too.

Meanwhile, test results confirmed the green substance found seeping onto I-696 in Madison Heights is hexavalent chromium.

Lawmakers, officials demand answers about contamination at condemned Madison Heights business -- watch:

There are new developments in the toxic ooze investigation.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.