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Processing plant in Howell to end use of potentially hazardous chemical after air quality concerns

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Posted at 4:16 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 16:23:32-05

HOWELL, Mich. (WXYZ) — Diamond Chrome Plating, a processing plant on Michigan Avenue in Howell, has announced that it will no longer use the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) at its facility.

This comes after residents expressed concerns over possible air pollution after fumes from TCE gas escaped from the plant and into the neighboring residential area.

The TCE chemical was commonly used to remove grease from metal parts at the processing plant.

"EGLE – in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Livingston County Health Department, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – is committed to thoroughly reviewing alternatives proposed by the company in order to ensure protection of public health and the environment," a statement from the company read.

Testing conducted the weekend of Nov. 23 showed that there were low levels of the chemical present in the outdoor air, according to a text message sent to residents by officials. The message added that additional testing showed that the TCE present was "below health screening values, which are protective of the most sensitive individuals."

The company stopped using the degreaser after a notice was sent on Nov. 18, and has since decided to no longer use the chemical at all.