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

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.

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.