EPA hands over control of toxic ooze site in Madison Heights to state regulators

Hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen, was found leaking onto I-696 on Dec. 20, 2019

EPA hands over control of toxic ooze site to Michigan regulators

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – It started with a leak onto Interstate 696 in Madison Heights where green ooze caught the attention of people driving by.

Now, more than a year after first descending on the site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to release the project to the state.

“We’re seeing very favorable results. All of out analytical is where we want it to be,” said Tricia Edwards with the EPA.

The work here will continue. People may still see liquid draining onto I-696 but it is not an environment danger.

“It’s really important for people to understand that you’re going to see water seeping out onto the highway but it is not contaminated,” Edwards said.

Gary Sayers, the owner of the Madison Heights building and property in Detroit, served time in prison related to the matter. Sayers wasn’t interested in talking in November, but has been keeping up his legal fight, still working to stop the demolition of the site.

However, sources said they believe that battle will soon be over.

“Outside of the emergency, what was on the highway, that is under control. That is stable. But there’s still a lot of work to be done,” Edwards said.

About the Author:

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.