EPA hands over control of toxic ooze site in Madison Heights to state 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. All of out analytical is where we want it to be,” said Tricia Edwards with the EPA. 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.
Major progress made cleaning up toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Enough progress has been made in cleaning up the toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights that the federal government has handed control back over to Michigan officials. The work has never stopped at the green ooze site -- even during the pandemic. Madison Heights officials said EGLE and EPA conducted an extensive investigation, installed a treatment system and collected more than 350,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater to be treated. Gary Sayers, the owner of the building at the center of the Madison Heights toxic ooze case, hasn’t been seen much since November. A virtual town hall meeting with Madison Heights officials, the EPA and EGLE will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. More information can be found here.
Hank Winchester confronts building owner at center of Madison Heights toxic ooze case
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The building owner responsible for the toxic green ooze mess in Madison Heights surprised everyone by returning to the site of the issue, where he was confronted by police and Local 4′s Hank Winchester. He showed up at the site of the Madison Heights building identified as the source of toxic green ooze that leaked onto the roadway. “We have been battling this situation for years,” Madison Heights Mayor Roslyn Grafstein said. There were hearings in Lansing, town halls in Madison Heights and courtroom battles over who dropped the ball. On Thursday, Sayers showed up at the Madison Heights property at the center of the scandal and wanted to look around inside.
Where things stand in cleanup of toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights, demolition battle
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The owner of the toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights has gotten off some of his probation restrictions, and that could have an effect on cleanup efforts. RECENTLY: Funding approved to demolish site, but fight is far from overFunding has been secured to help pay for the demolition of the Madison Heights building responsible for leaking green ooze onto the highway, but the fight over the future of the property is far from over. Sayers has been working to maintain control, and Local 4 has learned he’s also inquired about wanting to visit the site. Funding approved to demolish green ooze site, but fight is far from overFunding has been secured to help pay for the demolition of the Madison Heights building responsible for leaking green ooze onto the highway, but the fight over the future of the property is far from over. The mayor of Madison Heights has reason to be optimistic about the site because money is making its way to the city to not only clean the property, but eventually tear it down.
Funding approved to demolish green ooze site in Madison Heights, but fight is far from over
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Funding has been secured to help pay for the demolition of the Madison Heights building responsible for leaking green ooze onto the highway, but the fight over the future of the property is far from over. The mayor of Madison Heights has reason to be optimistic about the site because money is making its way to the city to not only clean the property, but eventually tear it down. Michigan officials pledged $600,000 in the effort to tear down the building, and now Oakland County leaders are stepping up to pledge $400,000 to get the job done. That means $1 million is going into the effort to take care of the ongoing problem. You can watch Hank Winchester’s full update in the video posted above.
Cleanup of contaminated site in Madison Heights moves into another phase
OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. The cleanup of the contaminated site in Madison Heights that was discovered when green ooze seeped onto I-696 is moving into another phase. Crews have been working through the pandemic to cleanup the site in phases and more work is coming. READ: Court battle over toxic ooze site in Metro Detroit turns heatedFederal and state agencies charged with cleaning up the site that produced the green ooze are highlighting the progress that has been made. Madison Heights will demolish the building as soon as it has the money. READ: More coverage on the Madison Heights contamination
Owner of Madison Heights green ooze building finally starts cleaning up worrisome Detroit property
DETROIT The owner of the Madison Heights building linked to green ooze that seeped onto I-696 has finally started to clean up his worrisome Detroit property after months of pressure from city and state officials. The battle between Gary Sayers and officials has been going on for months. EGLE and Detroit officials said Sayers ignored repeated calls about getting the work done over the last several months. Any clearing of debris on the property helps facilitate our ability to assess the site for possible contamination.Sayers is also battling state and city leaders in Madison Heights, where green ooze seeped from his building and onto I-696. Testing and cleanup at the Madison Heights site are ongoing.
ClickOnDetroit NIGHTSIDE report -- Wednesday, July 8, 2020
The idea is creative a drug that would not only treat those infected with coronavirus, but potentially help prevent infections too. Michigan ranks in the top tier of 2020 Census response, but some areas are lagging behind. There is a growing ground swell of teachers who said they feel bullied into going back into the classroom. The city wants the building demolished, but Sayers has been fighting it every step of the way. Michigan on Wednesday announced a $3 million fine against the states largest liquor distributor over delays in shipping booze to vendors.
Court battle over toxic ooze site in Metro Detroit turns heated
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. Gary Sayers, the owner of the toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights, is in a legal battle over the possible demolition of the property. The city wants the building demolished, but Sayers has been fighting it every step of the way. Sayers and his attorney have been fighting the city in hopes of preventing his building being demolished. City attorneys argued Wednesday the site is a danger and its all because of Sayers. The judge sided with the prosecutor, but legal experts predict Sayers will try to stall as long as possible.
ClickOnDetroit NIGHTSIDE report -- Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Gretchen Whitmer is shutting down indoor bar services throughout most of the state amid a spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This is Michigans first step backwards throughout the reopening process after reaching phase four of the governors reopening plan. Gary Sayers, the owner of the toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights, is now in a legal battle over possible contamination at his property in Detroit. He fought every step of the way to keep investigators out of his properties, and now hes doing so again. Gary DeCarlo, the owner of DeCarlos Banquet and Convention Center is talking about his latest post, he posted on his Facebook page.
Owner of toxic green ooze site in new legal battle over Detroit property
DETROIT Gary Sayers, the owner of the toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights, is now in a legal battle over possible contamination at his property in Detroit. MORE: Photos, records show Madison Heights building at center of toxic ooze case has been unsafe for yearsSayers just got out of prison. Last year, a Madison Heights building owned by Sayers leaked toxic green ooze onto a roadway. Officials want his Detroit property cleaned up so they can test to see if contamination has spread into the ground. Protecting the environment and public health remains a top priority.Sayers has also been working to block the demolition of his Madison Heights building.
Crews continue to clean toxic green ooze on I-696 amid pandemic
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, crews are still working on cleaning up the toxic green ooze that leaked onto I-696. Since the pandemic began, new precautions were put in place to make sure those working to clean up the ooze were safe at all times. The legal battle between Madison Heights and Sayers is ongoing. In November 2019, Sayers was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after he pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit. At Electro-Plating Services, inspectors found an estimated 5,000 containers of hazardous waste and materials that were improperly stored, unlabeled, open and corroded or in very poor condition.
Factory owner responsible for toxic green ooze to be released early from prison due to coronavirus pandemic
click to enlarge Michigan Department of TransportationGreen liquid oozing from retaining wall along I-696. The owner of a contaminated factory that sent a hazardous, bright green ooze onto I-696 in Madison Heights will be released early from federal prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.Gayer Alfred Sayers, owner of Electro-Plating Services, was supposed to be jailed until Nov. 9, according to the Bureau of Prisons Instead, the 70-year-old will be released from FCI Morgantown, a minimum security detention center in West Virginia, on May 20 to serve house arrest, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office in Detroit.In March, Attorney General William Barr ordered prisons to immediately maximize the release of inmates to home confident to help stem the spread of COVID-19.In November, Sayers was sentenced to a year in prison on a charge of illegally storing hazardous materials at Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights.Some of the hazardous materials were stored in a dirt hole in the basement, where the chemicals seeped into the ground and eventually found a path onto the freeway. The green slime was groundwater contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, which was made famous by Erin Brockovich.The EPA spent about $2 million and nearly a year to clean up the waste, but officials now acknowledge they underestimated how much toxic waste ended up in the ground. The EPA continues to clean up the property.The City of Madison Heights has filed a lawsuit against Gary Sayers in an attempt to require him to pay for the demolition of the building to make the clean-up more effective.metrotimes.com
Madison Heights drinking water tests show no detection of PFAS compounds, concerning level of other contaminants
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – On Friday officials from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy released updates on the investigation into the Electro-Plating Services contamination in Madison Heights, and additional properties owned by convicted polluter and Electro-Plating owner Gary Sayers. You can read the latest updates from the state environmental agency here:Tests of Madison Heights drinking water showed no detection of PFAS compounds and no other contaminants at levels of concern, city officials reported Friday. A public informational meeting on the Electro-Plating Services contamination will take place 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, at Madison High School, 915 E. 11 Mile Road. The city of Madison Heights is organizing the event with U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, state Sen. Jeremy Moss, state Rep. Jim Ellison and Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. A public information session for Electro-Plating Services is scheduled for Feb. 3.
Initial test results show contamination from Madison Heights Electro-Plating Services not impacting water or moving southward from site
LANSING, Mich. – Preliminary test results from drinking water and groundwater announced Friday indicate that contamination from the polluted Madison Heights Electro-Plating Services facility are neither impacting drinking water nor moving southward from the site. Test results from Madison Heights municipal water released this morning show no contaminants exceeding drinking water standards, a consultant for the city reported. Initial soil and surface water testing showed no evidence that contaminants were dumped on the property. Officials also discussed logistics for a public informational briefing on the Electro-Plating Services emergency response in Madison Heights that is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3. For information about EGLE programs call our Environmental Assistance Center, 800-662-9278, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Test results at Detroit, Sanilac County properties owned by Gary Sayers show no hexavalent chromium
DETROIT – Initial test results from a Detroit property and Sanilac County property owned by a businessman who spawned a county-wide contamination investigation show no threats to public health. MORE: Discovery of substance on I-696 leads to multi-county contamination investigationThat substance was coming from the condemned Electro-Plating Services, so crews started checking other properties owned by that business’ owner, Gary Sayers. Officials said tests taken at Sayers’ Deckerville property and the Commonwealth Industry building in Detroit did not show hexavalent chromium. Silver, mercury and chromium were found in the soil at the Deckerville property, but the levels weren’t high enough to cause a public health issue. PFAS test results are expected next week.
Crews test samples of potentially hazardous liquid found in abandoned Detroit building
DETROIT – Crews are testing samples of a potentially hazardous substance that was found in an abandoned building across the street from Commonwealth Industries in Detroit. Officials have discovered abandoned chemicals at Commonwealth Industries, which was owned, at least one time, by Gary Sayers -- the man linked to the potentially hazardous green ooze that leaked onto I-696 in Madison Heights. Now investigators are poking around at the buildings across the street of Commonwealth Industries. Local 4 has learned several drums were found in an abandoned building, and more drums could be seen out in the open in the other building. The environmental cleanup crew took samples from the drums Thursday and will test them to see just how dangerous the chemicals are.
Rep. Tlaib calls for EPA probe of Detroit building linked to 'green ooze' property owner
click to enlarge GoogleMaps5900 Commonwealth St.click to enlarge Michigan Department of TransportationGreen liquid oozing from retaining wall along I-696. Sodium cyanide and trichloroethylene also were found on the site.The latest discovery has prompted concerns that environmental hazards are lurking at the Commonwealth building. In 2013, residents were alarmed by the discovery of mountains of black ash, called petroleum coke or "petcoke," along the Detroit River. The independent lab found samples of hazardous compounds, including vanadium and selenium, both of which pose serious health risks. Exposure to selenium can lead to bronchitis, nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, vomiting, abdominal pain, and an enlarged liver.metrotimes.com
State House Committee to hold hearing on Madison Heights contamination
LANSING, Mich. – The State House Appropriations Committee called a hearing on the Madison Heights contamination for Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Lansing (watch it live here). State officials and local leaders have been asked to attend the hearing to explain how Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights was allowed to turn into the hazardous mess it is. READ: Discovery of green substance on I-696 leads to multi-county contamination investigationThe business owner, Gary Sayers, owns two other properties where environmental investigators are taking samples. Sayers history of noncompliance with state regulations is lengthy. State Rep. Shane Hernandez, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, said he doesn’t want Wednesday’s meeting to become a yelling match.
New concerns raised about contaminated site in Madison Heights
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The city of Madison Heights has already condemned Electro-Plating Services on 10 Mile Road and is asking an Oakland County judge to force the owner, Gary Sayers, to tear it down and clean up the land. Gary Sayers headed to prison recently after he pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit. Hexavalent chromium was discovered on the eastbound side of the roadway, near the Couzens Road exit, on Dec. 20, 2019. “This is the worst site I’ve ever seen,” Jeff Lippert, with the EPA, told the court. Not only did Sayers not follow correct protocol, according to the witnesses, but he wasn’t permitted for these chemicals either.
Video shows investigators removing samples from Detroit building owned by Gary Sayers
Video shows investigators removing samples from Detroit building owned by Gary SayersPublished: January 13, 2020, 12:10 pmLocal 4 cameras were rolling this morning as investigators removed what appeared to be new samples taken from inside the Detroit building owned by Gary Sayers. A cooler and several containers made their way into an environmental service truck. Detroit fire and city inspectors were also on scene.
New video shows officials removing samples of potentially hazardous liquid from Detroit building
DETROIT – Local 4 has new video of investigators removing what appear to be samples of potentially hazardous liquid from a Detroit building connected to the leak in Madison Heights. Sayers was recently imprisoned for violations of environmental laws in connection with the Madison Heights incident, police said. Some of that liquid resembled the green ooze from Sayers’ Madison Heights facility, according to officials. A glycol heater and and insulated pipes were added to the Madison Heights operation to protect it from freezing temperatures, police said. Soil and groundwater samples taken from locations near Madison Heights will be evaluated in the coming weeks, according to authorities.
Substance that looks like green ooze found on I-696 discovered in Detroit building
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – A substance that looks like the one found on I-696 in Madison Heights last month was discovered in a Detroit building Friday. Sayers owned the now-condemned Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights. The pits had a substance that resembles the green ooze on I-696. In the meantime, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently evaluating test results of water and soil samples taken from near Electro-Plating Services. Test results from inside the building revealed high levels of PFOS.
Michigan Company and Its Owner Sentenced for Illegally Storing Hazardous Waste
The Honorable Stephen J. Murphy issued the sentence, having accepted each of their pleas of guilty to a federal hazardous waste storage felony on Feb. 14, 2019. After these chemicals no longer served their intended purpose, they became hazardous wastes, which required handling in compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Ultimately, the EPAs Superfund program spent $1,449,963.94 to clean up and dispose of the hazardous wastes. Starting in 1996, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) repeatedly sent him warnings about his illegal handling of hazardous waste. In January 2017, the EPA initiated a Superfund removal action, after determining that nature and threats posed by the stored hazardous waste required a time-critical response.justice.gov
Madison Heights business owner sentenced in connection with hazardous waste storage
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. A Madison Heights businessman will serve time behind bars in connection with hazardous waste that was stored without a permit. He pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit in February. Inspectors found an estimated 5,000 containers of hazardous waste and materials that were improperly stored, unlabeled, open and corroded or in very poor condition. Past violations were addressed through administrative and criminal enforcement which resulted in the owner cleaning up the Madison Heights facility in 2010. In 2016 we received a new complaint regarding improper chemical storage at the Madison Heights site.