Sediment Collapse into Detroit River from Detroit Bulk Storage Site

Jan. 17, 2020:
EGLE Remediation and Redevelopment Division staff were on the Detroit River adjacent to the Revere Copper and Brass property to conduct a survey of the collapsed dock and soils within the impacted river area. Staff used sonar equipment to measure the depth of the river. The information gathered will be used to map the river bottom, showing the extent of the collapsed dock and soils within the Detroit River.

EGLE Staff use sonar equipment in Detroit River Staff analyze information about river bottom
EGLE Staff use sonar equipment in Detroit River Staff analyze information about river bottom

Jan. 16, 2020: EGLE’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division informed Revere Dock, LLC and Detroit Bulk Storage that the short-term steps they have taken to contain the impacts of the aggregate spill into the Detroit River are inadequate. In letters mailed Jan. 16, EGLE expressed concern about interim response efforts conducted to date to prevent soil contaminants from eroding into the river. Revere and DBS spelled out their plans in letters sent to EGLE on Jan. 10.

EGLE staff said a five-foot silt curtain does not surround the area of the bank failure, the southern portion of the bank collapse is not protected adequately from erosion, and a sinkhole at the site is developing rapidly in size and allowing additional materials from the property, including aggregate and contaminated soils, to enter the river. EGLE called for an expedited evaluation of the sinkhole and development of a plan to prevent further discharges of contaminated soils and aggregate into the river.

Revere and DBS have until Jan. 24 to submit to EGLE an Interim Response Plan, which is to detail longer-term and more specific plans to remediate the site. That plan must include an assessment of the sinkhole and proposed measures to ensure further contaminated soils and aggregate are not discharged into the Detroit River.

Jan. 16, 2020: The Great Lakes Water Authority received the results from a second round of water quality testing related to the Detroit Bulk Storage dock collapse in November. The results confirm there was no impact to water quality from the aggregate spill.

Jan. 10, 2020: Revere Dock LLC submitted to the state its response to notifications regarding the Detroit Bulk Storage aggregate spill site along the Detroit River. The document lists short-term steps Revere expects to take at the site. Revere had missed its Dec. 26 deadline to submit a plan to EGLE’s Water Resources Division, but it did meet it’s Jan. 10 deadline to submit its response to EGLE’s Remediation and Redevelopment Division.

Jan. 9, 2020: The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is analyzing preliminary results of recent Environment Protection Agency soil and pond water sampling at the Detroit Bulk Storage site along the Detroit River, where an aggregate pile collapsed in November into the river. EGLE’s analysis of the results and further discussions with the EPA will inform our next steps to hold the site’s owner, Revere Dock LLC, and Detroit Bulk Storage accountable and ensure a cleanup that is protective of public health and the environment. Read the full statement.

Dec. 27, 2019: The Great Lakes Water Authority’s first round of water quality test results have been released and levels were “non-detect” for some metals, including uranium, thorium, mercury, and lead. Results for radionuclides are pending, according to GLWA.

Dec. 12, 2019: A violation notice for illegal filling of a bottomland without a permit has been issued to the owner of the property where a sediment pile collapsed into the Detroit River last month. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy requires North Muskegon-based Ericksons -- which was leasing the property to property to Detroit Bulk Storage and Revere Dock – to provide a restoration plan within 15 days to remove the debris without disturbing potentially contaminated river bottom sediment below it. The plan must be approved by EGLE.

Dec. 11, 2019: All test results from water samples taken from the Detroit River upstream, downstream, and directly offshore from the collapse of a sediment pile show no elevated levels of pollutants. The tests showed no detectable levels of PCBs, uranium, heavy metals, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and several other industrial pollutants. Suspended solids and barium were detected, but at levels well below water quality standards.

Previously, radiological testing conducted Friday, December 6, at the site showed radiation levels below background levels typically found in Michigan.

The site, commonly referred to as the Revere Copper & Brass site or Detroit Bulk Storage site, was previously contaminated by uranium processing. It was remediated in the 1980s and 1990s. Post-remediation testing showed no radiological contamination beyond background levels. The testing conducted by EGLE affirms that there is no current increased risk to the public or the environment from the collapse.

EGLE Staff surveys Detroit Bulk Storage site Group testing Detroit Bulk Storage site for radiation
EGLE Staff surveys Detroit Bulk Storage site Group testing Detroit Bulk Storage site for radiation