Crews work to clean up major diesel leak in the Detroit River

The EPA clean-up crew is working hard and as of Thursday as a diesel leak invades the Detroit River.

TRENTON, Mich. – Crews are working to help clean up a leak that occurred Downriver.

About 10 feet below at the grounds of an abandoned hospital, a diesel tank that EPA thinks was left behind with thousands of gallons of diesel is the cause of the leak. The leak allowed diesel to make its way into the Detroit River.

Officials say that the leak from the tank is following a separate drain system that is not connected to the Trenton system. They have collected more than 30,000 gallons of diesel and stored them in nearby tanks. Officials stated that there is an estimate of 14,000 gallons of diesel left.

“We have an underground storage tank, and it’s been neglected for 20 years. The wall breached, got into the storm drain, it came to the lowest point and out to the river. I absolutely believe that it is key that someone said something about it so that the city was able to very quickly get this out and get EPA and EGEL involved and were able to get the property owner to bring out these resources,” said Brian Kelly of EPA.

There are oil booms in place to absorb the diesel. The next steps are to spray the storm drain with a biodegradable detergent and pull the tank out of the ground.

Below is a release from Trenton that was posted on Facebook Thursday morning.

Previous coverage: Federal, local officials monitoring diesel released into Detroit River


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.