By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is paying to remove hazardous waste from an abandoned business here.
EPA representative Brian Kelly spoke during Monday’s city council meeting about the EPA’s emergency cleanup of Detroit Tubular Rivet Co., 1213 Grove St., a manufacturer of bolts, nuts and rivets which went bankrupt in December 2010.
The site contains about 300 containers of hazardous chemicals, including cyanide and methylene chloride.
Kelly called the waste an “imminent threat to the community.”
“We consider that these drums are an urgent problem for the community and we consider removing them a priority,” he said.
An EPA report about the scheduled cleanup also found signs of trespassing, which could contaminate the area around the site if not immediately addressed.
“We are trying to step in before that occurs,” Kelly said. “The waste is abandoned and people could get in and track that outside the building. As long as we get in and address it, there’s no danger to the community.”
Kelly said all residents within a half mile of the cleanup were notified of it and the cleanup itself should not disrupt the
community in any way.
The $200,000 cleanup is scheduled to take four to six weeks and begin in mid-May.
The cleanup comes after a request from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which listed 16 hazardous waste violations in a letter to the company and cited them for failure to maintain hazardous waste containers in good condition, poor waste handling and other issues.
Kelly also said the city will in no way be held financially responsible for the cleanup, but the former owners may.
“If we find that the former owners had money to get rid of the waste and didn’t do it, we will seek reimbursement,” he said.