Read the full article by Sarah Rahal (The Detroit News)
“Madison Heights — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told residents Tuesday they are continuing to treat groundwater contamination at the former Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights, but remediation could cost taxpayers $4 million.
Yellow-green liquid containing toxic chemicals oozed onto the bank of Interstate 696 in December from the basement of the former electro-plating operation.
Officials told residents during a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday that the Madison Heights building was the only site the EPA continued work on through the pandemic.
In July, the EPA launched a pilot study of treating the groundwater contamination by injecting treatment chemicals, called reagents, directly into the soil.
They added a treatment at the site to provide a permeable barrier.
‘The materials are injected into the ground above a layer of clay at a high rate of pressure, and as the contaminated water moves through the area, it is actually treated through the barrier,’ said Tricia Edwards of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Initial studies found 80% of the contaminants were removed, including hexavalent chromium, trichloroethylene, cyanide and PFAS or perfluorooctanoic substances, said Tracy Kecskemeti, supervisor of the EPA’s southeast Michigan district.
‘We did find PFAS in the groundwater and the site, but because this is a plating operation, it wasn’t unexpected,’ Kecskemeti said. ‘It’s used in a range of operations including chrome plating. So, I consider it one of a number of contaminants. It’s not the main driver but it complicates the remediation plan.’
The EPA has collected more than 300,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater and hauled it off-site for treatment and disposal. Another 10,000 remains on the site, officials said…”