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Ann Arbor residents upset and confused after Huron River chemical spill

The Huron River provides the city of Ann Arbor with 85% of i’s drinking water. Now residents are concerned about the hexavalent chromium headed their way.
Posted at 5:04 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 19:57:28-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Huron River is a precious resource to people all over the area. But it holds particular significance to the people of Ann Arbor who get 85% of their drinking water from the river.

Matt Bussey was doing some canoeing on the Huron River Thursday with his kids Georgianna and Thor. He reacted to hearing the news that hexavalent chromium had been released into the waterway.

“It makes me sick. And it makes me really pissed off,” admitted Bussey.

He said his ire was divided two ways.

“That it would happen in the first place and that it would not be shared, you know, right away,” Bussey explained.

He said it’s not just the inconvenience that bothers him.

“It’s not only not using the river, it’s the whole ecosystem being poisoned,” said Bussey.

Cheryl Saam is the recreation supervisor at Argo Park Canoe Livery.

“Everyone is so concerned. We have received so many emails and calls with questions about it,” explained Saam.

Wixom plant reportedly spills hexavalent chromium into portion of Huron River

She said she’s surprised it could even happen in the first place.

“I mean you would think that there would be so many stops and checks and balances for something like this to happen,” Saam said.

She worried about what could happen if the contaminant were to impact Ann Arbor.

“We would have to shut down our camps, our programs, shut down river recreation,” said Saam

Plus, there’s still a lot she wants to know.

“How much chemical is in the river? Is it going to be diluted enough by the time it gets down here that it’s not a concern? I don’t know.

Andrew Caroen is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan who lives right across from the Huron River. He reacted to the news.

“I’m annoyed and frustrated and also sad, that our river and water keeps getting contaminated,” said Caroen.

He said this isn’t the first time the company responsible has caused damage.

Tribar Manufacturing received past violations for PFAS, Air Quality concerns

“This is the same company that was responsible for the PFAS in the river,” explained Caroen.

He is concerned not much will happen.

“I’m worried that everything is going to go business as usual and people are not going to know about it and then there’s going to be all this, health problems. It’s just like an environmental injustice,” Caroen said.

He too has questions and he wants answers to them.

“What happened? Why it happened? And what can be prevented in the future?” asked Caroen.