Electro-Plating Services - I696 Release Site
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On December 20, 2019, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) asked EPA for assistance with a suspected hexavalent chromium spill. A mound of bright yellow-green ice was visible leaking from the barrier wall along the highway (on the south side of eastbound I-696, just west of Couzens Road). EPA determined that the source was the Electro-Plating Services (EPS) site uphill from the leak. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy's Electro-Plating Services / I-696 Incident
EPA and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) are implementing a plan to manage groundwater contamination at the former Electro-Plating Services (EPS) facility in Madison Heights. EGLE and EPA held a virtual meeting on January 26, 2021 to discuss details the transition of the site from EPA to EGLE. EPA Transitions Cleanup to EGLE
Contaminants at the EPS site include hexavalent chromium, trichloroethylene (TCE), cyanide and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). From December 2019 to October 2020, EPA collected a total of 353,879 gallons of contaminated groundwater and hauled it off-site for treatment and disposal. While effective, this method was 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 placed into the 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 treatment areas and react with the treatment chemicals, treating the contaminants in place. More about this treatment technology
Placement of the treatment chemicals, called reagents, occurred on a small-scale in July 2020, and on a full-scale in September 2020. EPA conducted sampling after both the small-scale and full-scale treatments, and results showed a dramatic reduction in site contaminants. In October 2020, EPA stopped containerizing groundwater to allow groundwater to stabilize and resume its natural flow for in-place treatment. EPA transferred the site to EGLE in February 2021 to maintain the new treatment system. It is estimated that the treatment chemicals will need to be replaced every five to ten years in the treatment area north of the plating shop building, and every three to five years at the top of the I-696 embankment.
The goal of the 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 contaminated soils be permanently removed. In July 2020, EPA lined the sanitary and storm sewers with an epoxy, cured-in-place pipe liner to prevent any further infiltration of groundwater into the deteriorated pipes.
The site was transitioned to EGLE in February 2021, but due to cold temperatures, a few EPA activities were delayed until Spring 2021. In la
te-March and April 2021, EPA completed the following: placed additional treatment chemicals within the interceptor trench, filled both interceptor and I-696 sumps with gravel, restored the embankment at the I-696 sump, removed fencing around the interceptor trench, and restored the service drive road surface at the interceptor trench. Both the service drive and the I-696 exit ramp were opened to traffic in late-April. EPA’s site activities concluded in late-April 2021.
Beginning Dec. 22, 2019, EPA collected soil and groundwater samples from dozens of locations near the former Electro-Plating Services facility to help determine the nature and extent of contamination. Sampling Information and Interactive Mapping
To keep agencies and leaders of the community involved and informed with current operations on the site, stakeholder briefings have been held with EPA, EGLE, MDOT, and the City of Madison Heights. The last stakeholder briefing was held on April 21, 2021. The la
test update was provided to the community via webinar on January 26, 2021. You can view the meeting here: Community Update Meeting - January 26, 2021
- I-696 Incident Meeting video, 1/26/2021
- Electro-plating - I696 Incident Meeting Powerpoint, 1/26/2021
- Fact Sheet: EPA Transitions Cleanup to EGLE
You can view update from Aug. 2020.
Sign up for EPA's GovDelivery List for the Electro-Plating Services - I696 site. Subscribers will be updated on items of general interest related to the progress of environmental investigations at the site. These updates may include community updates, test results, corrective actions, and response activities.