DETROIT (AP) — Detroit has fined the company that owns a site along the Detroit River where a collapsed dock sent construction aggregate material into the river for illegally storing tons of limestone for months, a city official said.
Revere Dock LLC has been hit with a $10,000 fine for storing nearly 40,000 tons (36,287 metric tons) of limestones on its dock without a permit since July 2019, said David Bell, the city's director of Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department.
"The fact is they have been illegally operating, and so we're going to make them feel it," Bell told The Detroit News on Tuesday. "It's very frustrating to me that a property owner would operate in this manner."
The illegal operation came to light during the investigation into the Nov. 26 dock collapse that spilled an unknown amount of limestone construction aggregate material into the river. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found uranium, lead, several chemicals and heavy metals during testing of water samples at the industrial site.
Revere Dock has owned the site since 2015 and leased it to Detroit Bulk Storage, which is a sand and gravel storage yard business.
Bell noted that although the owner obtained permits in August 2016 for site alterations and improvements, Revere Dock "did not ever" submit a permit to have storage of aggregate materials.
Since last Thursday, Bell’s department has issued 28 tickets for violations stemming from the spill, he said, noting that citations have been steady, amounting to about $2,800 per day.
Adam Patton, a consultant Revere Dock hired to oversee its response plan to the state, declined the newspaper’s request for comment. Detroit Bulk Storage Vice President Noel Frye deferred comment to the site owner. The newspaper couldn’t reach the site owner on Tuesday.
Gary Brown, the city’s director of Water and Sewerage Department, told council members Monday that the water "is as safe today as it was the day before the spill, and the day after."
"We have a contained pipe water system," Brown said. "I'm not saying that there's not an environmental issue with contaminated soil. I'm saying it can't get into the water system."
The site, formerly occupied by the Revere Copper and Brass Corp., produced uranium materials in the 1940s and 1950s. That company was a subcontractor for the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb during World War II, U.S. Department of Energy documents show.