NewsI-696 contamination crisis


State tests chemicals at Detroit building owned by man blamed for toxic ooze

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 18:32:33-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — State environmental investigators are now testing chemicals found at another property owned by Gary Sayers - this time in Detroit.

This as court proceedings are underway against Sayers by Madison Heights for the green liquid that leaked onto I-696.

The early indications of what was found inside the building on Commonwealth are not good.

EGLE, Michigan’s environmental agency, was on Commonwealth Monday to take samples from the factory, believed to be used last by Sayers as a warehouse.

You can see scraps on the outside, but it’s the hue of liquid inside that’s causing concern.

“There are several pits in the building. Some of which are empty, some have green substances like what we saw in the electro plating services building in Madison Heights,” says Jill Greenberg with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy. “Some have a reddish material in them.”

Michigan state investigators pulled samples from those pits inside the Commonwealth Industries building in Detroit, preparing to confirm what they likely already know, that’s it’s another contaminated site owned by Gary Sayers.

“The green may be hexavalent chromium,” says Greenberg. “Other contaminants may include arsenic, trichloroethylene and heavy metals.”

The dangerous chemicals, according to the state, were not in the building back in December when it was searched after the rediscovery of the green liquid inside Electroplating in Madison Heights, the source of the liquid that spilled on to I-696.

“There was transport of chemicals between EPS and this site. both owned by Gary Sayers,” says Greenberg.

But the state’s environmental arm says, at this point, it appears drinking water in the New Center Area is safe.

“There are no wells in the area, water wells, so the area is served by municipal water, but that being said, we are doing extensive testing to make sure that the contamination on site hasn’t migrated off,” says Greenberg.

Testing from the samples pulled today will be expedited and are expected in one to two weeks.

Meanwhile the building being boarded and locked up and the site is off limits.