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Unknown chemical closes Franklin strip mall

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A Franklin shopping center has been closed because of a potential chemical leak under its buildings, state and city officials said Tuesday.

The center, Franklin Village Plaza, is located at 32716-32744 Franklin Road south of W. 14 Mile Road.

Oakland County Health Division officials said they ordered the strip mall to be closed Monday after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services notified them a storage tank of at least 45 gallons of unknown volatile organic compounds was found in a crawl space. 

Franklin Village Plaza

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials discovered the tank while conducting work to remediate vapors from chemicals used in dry cleaning and metal degreasing. 

Village officials said the location was the site of a gas station and a dry cleaning business from 1950s through the 1970s.

County officials said there is a dry cleaning business currently at the location, but it couldn't have caused the vapor problem because it doesn't conduct dry cleaning at the site nor does it store dry cleaning chemicals on the premises.

State officials said they could not identify the chemical in the tank and do not know its potential for harm. They said they will conduct tests on samples taken from the tank and that will determine the next steps.

Meanwhile, the shopping center will be closed until the problem is addressed, according to county officials.