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Cleanup plan announced for site of toxic green ooze in Madison Heights

Toxic green ooze found on I-696 nearly 7 months ago

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – It’s been nearly seven months since toxic green ooze started leaking along I-696 in Oakland County.

The ooze was later linked to the Electroplating Services building along 10 Mile Road. Work is being done to make sure the source of the green ooze is cleaned up permanently.

Last December, The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) asked the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for help when hexavalent chromium seeped onto the shoulder of I-696.

READ: Crews continue to clean toxic green ooze on I-696 amid pandemic

“We want to get to the core of this contamination and I know that the residents, the neighboring businesses, I mean, they really want to carry on. And we want to make those places as safe as we can,” Jill Greenberg, with EGLE, said.

The goal of injection treatment to address the groundwater contamination as it migrates from the Electroplating Services building.

“It’s treating the contamination. You know where it’s at underneath the ground. It doesn’t take it out, it doesn’t expose it to the air, or handling by humans. This is really a safer technique that we can keep in place for a long time,” Greenberg said.

Treatment chemicals will be injected into the soil between the building and the service drive as well as the top of the I-696 embankment. Experts said as groundwater migrates through the soil, it will flow through the injection areas and the contaminates will be treated in place.

“This really is taking us toward the final step, which is removing all the source of that contaminant,” Greenberg said.

READ: Man imprisoned for I-696 green ooze spill to be released on house arrest amid COVID-19 outbreak

So far, the EPA has collected more than 260,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater and hauled it off-site for treatment and disposal.

“We’ve had the idea that the sump pumps were not sustainable long term. And right now is a great time to really put something new in place. It’s warm out and we didn’t really want this to go any longer than it had to,” Greenberg said.

The EPA expects to transfer the site to EGLE at the end of the year to maintain the new treatment system. It is estimated those materials may need to be replaced every three to five years.

Legal proceedings are currently underway to authorize demolition and removal of the Electroplating Services building.

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