Underground storage tank may be cause of Huron River chemical leak

Samples submitted to US Coast Guard for chemical fingerprinting

The investigation into the Huron River chemical leak is still underway.

FLAT ROCK, Mich. – It has been close to a week since a sheen-like substance was found flowing into the Huron River.

Investigators discovered a storage tank underground that may be the possible source of the substance.

Those living nearby are concerned.

“It’s kinda scary, you wonder,” said Flat Rock resident Charles Harper.

“It scares me because we don’t know what it is,” said one anonymous Flat Rock resident. “We don’t know the effects of it or what’s going to happen. It really is scary anytime it is in the water.”

Read: EPA, EGLE investigate Flat Rock chemical leak

EPA on-scene coordinator Sean Kane says an underground storage unit has been found that may be one crucial clue.

“We did identify an underground storage tank that had water and what we call free product and oily substance,” Kane said.

The river is used by many for recreational purposes. The issue was uncovered when a fisherman saw a strange oil-like sheen on the water that smelled like gasoline. That’s what sparked the investigation with the city of Flat Rock, the EPA, EGLE, and now another major agency.

“We have samples submitted to the US Coast Guard lab for chemical fingerprinting,” Kane said.

Read: Flat Rock chemical leak still under investigation

As we wait for test results, Kane wants everyone to know that this potential chemical leak is nothing compared to the last one, where everyone was on high alert.

“I just want to make sure that the public knows there are no concerns in terms of the quality of the air based on the discharge of oil to the Huron River,” Kane said.

Test results were initially supposed to come back a few days ago, but more work had to be done. We’re, of course, staying on top of this developing story as more updates are made available.


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.