EPA and Michigan announce interim groundwater cleanup plan for Electro-Plating Services site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2020
Media Contacts:
Allison Lippert, lippert.allison@epa.gov, 312-353-0967
Jill Greenberg, EGLE spokesperson, GreenbergJ@Michigan.gov, 517-897-4965 

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced a plan to manage groundwater contamination at the former Electro-Plating Services (EPS) facility in Madison Heights. EGLE requested EPA assistance at the site in December 2019 when yellow-green liquid containing toxic chemicals from EPS seeped from the former business onto the shoulder of I-696.

Contaminants at the EPS site include hexavalent chromium, trichloroethylene (TCE), cyanide and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Since December 2019, EPA has collected a total of 260,540 gallons of contaminated groundwater and hauled it off-site for treatment and disposal. While effective, this method is not sustainable long-term, as it is both costly and resource intensive.

After evaluating several options, EPA and EGLE selected in-situ, or in-place, treatment as the remedy for groundwater contamination at the site. Treatment chemicals that degrade contaminants will be injected into the subsurface soil between the EPS building and the service drive, as well as along the top of the I-696 embankment. As groundwater naturally migrates through the soil, it will flow through the injection areas and the contaminants will be treated in place.

The plan transitions the site from the immediate response efforts that have been ongoing since December 2019 to a long-term management process that protects residents and natural resources.

Injection of the treatment chemicals, called reagents, will begin next month. EPA will conduct sampling to ensure the treatment is effective before decommissioning the current groundwater collection system. EPA expects to transfer the site to EGLE in December 2020 to maintain the new treatment system. It is estimated that the treatment materials may need to be replaced every three to five years.

The goal of the injection treatment is to address the groundwater contamination as it migrates from the EPS site. On-site soils still contain contaminants above clean-up criteria. Removing the source of the contamination (the building and site soils) will reduce the duration of in-situ treatment.

Legal proceedings are currently underway to authorize demolition and removal of the EPS building. Only when the building is removed can permanent removal of contaminated soils be undertaken.

For more information from EPA, visit: https://www.epa.gov/mi/electro-plating-services-i696-release-site

For more information from EGLE, visit: https://www.michigan.gov/egle/0,9429,7-135-3312_4118-515339--,00.html

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