Read the full article by Paula Gardner
“Temporary water filters will be added this week to a Metro Detroit automotive supplier factory that’s been identified as a source of high levels of PFAS contamination in the Huron River.
The equipment is expected to be installed on Friday, October 5, at the Adept Plastics/Tribar plant in Wixom.
Coming next: A permanent water-cleansing system to reduce the discharge to below 12 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOS and PFOA. That is expected by year-end, said attorney Paul Bohn…
The specialized equipment hadn’t been available until now, Bohn said, as company officials spent months navigating what he called ‘unique circumstances’ surrounding the chemicals emerging from their factory.
PFAS contamination prompted an escalating series of public health warnings surrounding the Huron River starting in August – including warnings not to eat fish in five southeast Michigan counties – as officials learned that the Wixom wastewater treatment plant had been discharging the chemicals into a tributary.
The city’s effluent testing determined that treated water containing at least 290 ppt of PFOS was flowing into Norton Creek, after the treatment plant accepted water from Adept/Tribar that – according to one test – contained PFOS at 28,000 ppt…
Adept/Tribar hired Clean Harbors Inc., which located the temporary equipment and also is planning the permanent filter installation…
The equipment is highly specialized and ‘not a cookie-cutter system,’ Bohn said. It follows significant on-site work to make sure no lingering PFAS remained in the company’s production processes after it – along with other U.S. plating companies – followed a voluntary move to stop using PFOS and PFOA in 2015.
Bohn said he did not yet have an amount that Adept/Tribar is spending on the PFAS issue.
The company received a 30-day administrative order from Wixom on September 19. Adept/Tribar faces an October 19 deadline to tell the city how the ‘violations occurred and how future violations will be prevented.’ It also has to provide a detailed work plan on how it will prevent pass-through contamination while it works on a solution, as well as pay for the city’s ongoing testing.
Bohn said these steps likely will address the request from the city, which has continued to supply wastewater services to the plant. So far, Bohn said, Adept/Tribar has not curtailed production of its chrome-plated plastic components since the PFAS discovery.
Along with DEQ urgency on the Huron River testing, watershed advocates and public officials called for the state to focus on the factory’s discharge.”