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2017 photos from the EPA show building at I-696 contamination site

EPA Madison Heights ooze 2017_24.jpeg
Posted at 10:48 AM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 12:42:59-05

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Environmental Protection Agency is heading to the I-696 contamination site in an effort to stop any cancer-causing chemicals from spreading on the highway and other areas near the building where the green ooze originated.

The ooze that made it’s way onto 696 started at Electro Plating Services in Madison Heights.

On the EPA's website, they have released two dozen photos – taken between March and December 2017 – showing the site of Electro Plating Services.

Some of the photos show "drums of waste" and others show "spent plating waste," while others show the overflowing pit in the basement.

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(12/30/2017) Pit in the basement
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(12/30/2017) map and location of samples collected
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Basement pit filled with crushed concrete gravel, taken on Dec. 14, 2017 from the EPA.
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Vat area following cleanup from the EPA, taken 12/13/2017
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(12/14/2017) Floors in vat area following cleanup
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(12/13/2017) Vat area following floor cleanup
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(12/13/2017) Vat area following floor cleanup
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(12/13/2017) Vat area following floor cleanup
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(6/7/2017) Staged containers in Building 1.
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(6/7/2017) Staged containers in Building 1.
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(6/2/2017) Roll-away dumpster for non-haz waste
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(5/31/2017) Decon area in the CRZ
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(5/31/2017) Decon area in the CRZ
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(5/22/2017) overflowing pit in basement
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(5/22/2017) stairs leading to plating lines
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(5/22/2017) Unsafe floor rusting through
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(5/22/2017) spent plating waste in vat
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(5/22/2017) drums of waste in west building
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(4/18/2017) Crew using rock to prepare parking lot where command post will be located
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(4/18/2017) Crew using rock to prepare parking lot where command post will be located
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(4/18/2017) Rock for grading and preparing the parking area where the command post will be located
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(4/18/2017) Parking area where command post will be located prior to activities
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(12/30/2017) first floor plating
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(12/30/2017) Basement conditions
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(12/30/2017) Basement conditions

The site, in Madison Heights just west of Dequindre, is also close to where people live, commercial buildings and industrial properties.

The EPA has said there is no risk to drinking water intakes in Lake St. Clair. But they have found high levels of multiple contaminates in the soil and groundwater surrounding Electro Plating Services.

Thursday’s efforts will help them determine how to stop that contamination from spreading.

“We have scheduled a subsurface investigation so we can move on to the next step, and that’s trying to fix the problem underground so we can halt further contamination going onto the highway," said Terry Stilman, an on-scene EPA coordinator.

The EPA ordered a halt to production at the facility back in 2016 – after inspectors discovered hundreds of corroded drams, vats and other containers of hazardous waste.

The owner, Gary Alfred Sayers, was sentenced to a year in federal prison for illegal storage of hazardous waste.

He is scheduled to turn himself in sometime this month.

The EPA estimates the cleanup efforts will cost $2 million. The efforts to clean the site set to last more than four months.