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Michigan, EPA announce plan to clean up ‘green ooze’ site

July 1, 2020 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — Groundwater contamination at the former Electro-Plating services facility that was determined to be the source of a green ooze leak last year will be treated by injecting chemicals into the soil and treating the contaminants in place.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state announced a plan on Tuesday to begin the treatment with chemicals next month. Since groundwater naturally migrates through the soil, the chemicals used to treat the pollutants will flow through the injection areas between the Electro-Plating Services building in Madison Heights and the Interstate 696 service drive, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

The plan creates a long-term management process that will protect residents and natural resources. The extent of the contamination remains undetermined.

In a news release by the EGLE, contaminants at the site included hexavalent chromium, trichloroethylene, cyanide, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, according to The Detroit News. The EPA has so far collected 260,540 gallons of contaminated groundwater and hauled it off-site for treatment and disposal.

Jill Greenberg, a representative for EGLE, described the cleanup as a multi-phase effort, which began with the sump pumps and removal of barrels of waste.

“The next phase, as described, is the treatment of the ground water, and once that is completed and the building has been brought down, we can safely go inside there and excavate soil around the hole where Gary Sayers poured toxic chemicals for years,” Greenberg said.