Public Briefing On I-696 Contamination Set For February 3, 2020

Madison Heights, MI - A public informational briefing on the Electro-Plating Services emergency response in Madison Heights has been scheduled for Monday, Feb. 3, officials announced Friday.

The meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. at Madison High School, 915 E. 11 Mile Road. It is hosted by the City of Madison Heights, Congressman Andy Levin, State Sen. Jeremy Moss, State Rep. Jim Ellison and Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. Presenters will include officials from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE); and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The site has been the focus of intense scrutiny and emergency response since contamination was discovered along the I-696 highway embankment on Dec. 20.

EPA officials also announced Friday that they are conducting additional soil and groundwater testing to the south side of 10 Mile Road to determine if contaminants have migrated to the south. The EPA this week installed a bypass system to reroute unaffected stormwater around the area of contamination and dug an interceptor trench to capture additional contaminated groundwater.

In other updates announced Friday:

  • EGLE tests results found detectable levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the storm sewers and Bear Creek. PFOS – one of the compounds – was detected in Bear Creek at 17.9 parts per trillion (ppt), exceeding surface water criteria of 12 ppt.
  • Most recent sampling of Bear Creek surface water, taken Jan. 8, did not contain detectable levels of hexavalent chromium. 
  • EGLE is working with EPA to create a sampling plan to continue monitoring contaminants in storm sewers and Bear Creek.
  • The EPA launched an interactive map that displays preliminary test results for hexavalent chromium, cyanide and TCE. The map will continue to be updated as new sampling data becomes available. EPA continues to post the latest updates on its response, including photos, to its Electro-Plating Services - I696 Release Site page.
  • EGLE has released a timeline of enforcement activities related to Electro-Plating Services and its owner, Gary Sayers, who is current imprisoned for repeated violations of environmental laws.
  • The City of Madison Heights has sent a camera through the affected sewer lines to help better identify locations where contaminated groundwater might be entering the system. Those images are being reviewed by technical teams.
  • EPA officials report they have an engineering team starting to evaluate soil and groundwater testing data in order to work on a longer-term solution addressing site contaminants. That plan will likely take six to eight weeks to develop.

To report environmental emergencies, contact the Pollution Emergency Alerting System hotline, 800-292-4706. 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.

EGLE will post updates at Electroplating Services / I-696 Incident

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