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Warren Mayor Fouts says environmental experts confirm his Freedom Hill contamination allegations

Posted: 5:50 PM, Nov 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-22 17:56:07-05

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts claims environmental experts are now backing him up. He says massive amounts of excavated dirt, dumped at the Freedom Hill landfill in Sterling Heights, was done so without proper permitting.

He also says methane gas wells, that have now been covered, along with waste runoff could lead to nearby explosions.

“You compromised the safety of those that live around there,” Fouts said of county leaders. “So now you have [waste] leaking within 20 feet of Red Run, that is a serious problem. All this methane gas in traveling and going into a church’s property.”

“There are twelve sites leaking. Today, they were trying to cover up one site and two more broke out,” he added.

He accuses Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and the Sterling Heights mayor of intentionally misleading the public.

“This was a cover up that resulted in illegal dumping. Mark Hackel has not been honest, nor has the mayor,” Fouts says.

“If [their actions] violates environmental regulations, then you are talking about something that may cause a violation of the law, a fine or worse,” Fouts says.

7 Action News spoke with the MDEQ. They confirm some permitting on work at the landfill was inconsistent.

The county tonight acknowledged and didn’t dispute that.

However, the county pushes back against Fouts, saying there is no “health threat” to the public.

They acknowledge waste runoff has been a problem at the site, but say it is not polluting the water supply, nor will it.

Mark Hackel himself responded to the accusations of a cover up, saying none of that will be substantiated.

Finally, the City of Sterling Heights released a statement saying in part, “The City of Sterling Heights remains confident that Macomb County and SMDA are taking the necessary steps to address and complete the repair work and any other remedial action required.”