EPA, EGLE investigate Flat Rock chemical leak

The same crews helped in the chemical leak at the Flat Rock Ford Assembly Plant

State Environmental Officials are working to determine what caused a possible chemical leak in Flat Rock. It's happening on Huron River Drive, not far from Gibraltar Road.

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – The city of Flat Rock is seemingly dealing with yet another chemical leak, this time into a body of water parallel to the Huron River.

The body of water contained the chemicals, but it has become a significant headache to the residents living within the city limits.

“It’s lighter than water,” said Flat Rock Mayor Mark Hammond. “It’s floating on top of the water. It has a blueish sheen to it. It smells kind of like gasoline and kerosene.”

In a press conference, Mayor Hammond confirmed that a fisherman found the substance in the water on Monday (Feb. 21) evening.

“There’s no need for the public to panic,” Mayor Hammond said. “There’s no personnel health issues involved with this. This is extremely environmental, and we want to keep it that way.”

So far, the EPA and EGLE are handling the investigation. The same crews helped in the chemical leak at the Flat Rock Ford Assembly Plant months ago.

“We learned a lot from the last one, and that’s one of the things that we did right away, to gather samples,” Mayor Hammond said.

Aerial footage from Drone 4 shows booms that crews have placed in the water. The yellow tubes seen in the video player above are being used to contain the substance in question. As of now, there’s no idea what chemical may have spilled or the source of the leak. One business majorly affected is a local metal company.

“They’re the closest business, Mayor Hammond said. “So, we’ve been working with them right away. They’re also having effects from this as well. They’re having vapors in their plant. Right now, there’s no indication on where it’s coming from. It could be coming underground. It could be coming from the runoff from the snowmelt. We really don’t know.”

Local 4 News will be closely watching as crews work to identify the chemical and the source. State leaders are also chiming in.

In a statement, Representative Debbie Dingell says, “My office will remain in close contact with all necessary federal, state, and local officials, and we are monitoring this situation closely. We will ensure information is readily available and communicated effectively as soon as we have more details on this emergency response situation.”

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.