A famous cancer-causing chemical spilled onto the I-696 interstate in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights, Michigan, on Friday, causing the shutdown of a freeway lane amid public concerns of contaminated groundwater.
The bright green-yellow material was discovered by motorists leaking out between concrete slabs in the wall and on the eastbound lanes of the highway that runs east and west in the northern suburbs of the Motor City. A cleaning activity by local police, firefighters and HAZMAT groups was ongoing during the Christmas holiday.
Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller, on Friday evening, said that “engineers and staff are working with state and federal businesses to monitor a bright green material that is seeping on to I-696 in Madison Heights.”
State environmental delegates later reported that the leaking substance is hexavalent chromium—also known as Chromium 6—which leaked from the basement of a closed company called Elektro-Plating Services and blended with groundwater.
They said that the poisonous chemical ran from the basement into the ground and then via a storm drain that vacant onto the highway. As soon as the fluid emerged from the drain, it froze into a greenish-yellow blob.
Elektro-Plating Services, located on 10 Mile Road with the rear of the building facing the I-696 interstate, was shut in 2016 by government authorities. The owner of the site, Gary Sayers, was tried and sentenced to a year in federal jail and required to pay $1.4 million to clean up the plant last month for operating an illegal hazardous waste storage equipment.