Community members held protest as new information came to life about chemical spill in Huron River

It’s a complaint people living in Milford have had to experience not once but twice in the past four years

MILFORD, Mich. – New revelations occurred Wednesday about the release of a toxic chemical into the Huron River system late last month.

In a violation issued by the state to Wixom’s Tribar Manufacturing, the company is asked to explain why an alarm was over-ridden hundreds of times within a few hours on the night of the chemical release.

You can tell the Milford community has had enough of the pollution allegedly caused by one company.

You can also tell by the number of violations EGLE issued that they have had enough.

It’s a complaint people living in Milford have had to experience not once but twice in the past four years: pollution at the hands of Tribar Manufacturing in the Huron River.

This time it’s alleged that a Tribar employee overrode waste treatment alarms over 450 times within three hours on the same day the toxic release apparently began.

“When I can’t take my kids on a canoe trip that’s a block from our home, it’s pretty sad,” said Sarah Moore.

A few days ago, the cancer-causing chemical compound hexavalent chromium was detected in the Hubbell Pond.

EGLE called it the unauthorized release of a plating solution into the Wixom Sewage Treatment Plant facility.

As a result, officials ask that people stay away from swimming or fishing in the river.

People like Heather Armstrong Village Canoe Rental had to shut down her business.

“It’s definitely disappointing to have to shut down, but I think we can all say that the biggest concern is the safety of everyone’s recreational and drinking water,” said Armstrong. “That’s the biggest concern.”

Read: Chemical spill on Huron River sparks warnings due to contamination

EGLE has already issued a violation notice to Tribar as the ongoing investigation continues.

The water resources department of EGLE cited Tribar for failing to immediately notify them after discovering discharge, sending pollutants to the waste-water treatment facility, and failing to maintain an adequately updated pollution incident prevention plan.

Aside from that, it’s said that metal treatment tanks were not adequately controlled, which may have led to the unauthorized emissions of nickel and chrome. There was also a belief to keep the proper documents of air permit condition records.

“It’s just hard to drive by the park, and we can’t put our feet in the water. We can’t walk down the creek,” Moore said. “That’s something we look forward to every summer.”

Local 4 still has not heard anything from Tribar Manufacturing, but they have until Aug. 30 to answer to EGLE with an explanation of all their violations.

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.