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Ford to begin groundwater testing in Livonia

Posted at 10:34 PM, Feb 08, 2016

Groundwater testing set to begin Tuesday in a Livonia neighborhood east of the Ford Transmission Plant.

There could be a cancer causing agent, spreading to the groundwater in the neighborhood around the plant.

Just last week, Ford announced the discovery of vinyl chloride in the groundwater at the plant. 

“It’s a chemical that we haven’t used since the 80s’, so it’s a broken down version of that and concentrations are very low already, but per MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) criteria we need to figure out where it stops and figure out what we need to do from there,” said John Cangany, Sustainability Communications Manager at Ford.

The cleaning agent that’s since been phased out of use was discovered after the plant started doing renovations in August.

Cangany said the groundwater does not impact drinking water and he wants residents to know they are not at risk.

"Their drinking water is safe, their drinking water is not affected in any way and there's not data to indicate that anyone is at risk,” said Cangany.

The Ford plant hosted a community meeting at their facilities on Monday night for concerned neighbors with questions.

Dozens of residents attended.

Cangany said the meeting is important in light of the Flint water crisis.

"Given a lot of issues around water going on right now, we want to make sure everybody knows we are being very transparent and we're on top of the situation with MDEQ and the city of Livonia,” said Cangany.

One of the residents in attendance was Larry Crunk. He said it’s not his drinking water that concerns him, but his property value.

"We have city water, we do not have a well.  The problem that I'm looking at is, we've had in the neighborhood a lot of fruit trees, a lot of trees, that have been dying all of a sudden,” said Crunk.

He doesn’t know if it’s due to vinyl chloride, but he is concerned.

"We used to have a garden every year, but the last couple of years our garden has been nothing because it just won't grow,” said Crunk.

He’s also concerned he will need to get his own ground water analysis.

"Ford is going to say whatever they want to say, I'm sure they're going to be as transparent as they feel is necessary,” said Crunk.

Ford will be drilling in the area for the next two weeks.

The company plans to release the results in March and host another community meeting. Company officials said they will talk about possible corrective action when they know what they are dealing with.

The City of Livonia is also planning to do a separate groundwater test.