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Hazardous waste forces shutdown of Madison Hts. company

Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

Madison Heights — Michigan environmental officials have ordered a company that is located close to residential properties to stop operating due to repeated mishandling of hazardous wastes.

Department of Environmental Quality investigators charge Electro-Plate Service Inc. with repeated practices that pose “an imminent and substantial threat to human health and the environment.”

On Nov. 15, DEQ and Madison Heights fire officials inspected the company’s operation at 945 E. 10 Mile, coming across roughly 5,000 containers of hazardous waste and materials — many of which were “unsecured or in poor condition.” Spills were identified “throughout the facility.”

“This particular company has been given several opportunities to comply but continues to ignore the most basic requirements of public safety,” said C. Heidi Grether, MDEQ director. “It’s location, within 500 feet of residential neighbors and overlooking I-696, poses an imminent threat that could cause untold damage to people and the environment.

“We have worked with the Madison Heights Fire Department to help EPS meet its obligations to the community and under law. The company has shown only recalcitrance and is now closed until the site can be cleared of hazardous materials.”

That inspection produced a violation notice from DEQ’s Office of Waste Management. A second violation notice went out on Dec. 2, requiring Electo-Plate officials to respond with a plan for corrective action within two weeks. No plan was submitted.

Electro-Plate officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Among the hazardous chemicals believed to be on site were many that can inflict tissue damage on contact. They include: cyanides, hydrochloric acid, chromium and trichloroethylene.

Electro-Plate sits in a particularly problematic area for hazardous wastes. Daycare facilities, schools and assisted-living centers sit within a mile of the site.

JLynch@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2034