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No-contact recommendation lifted after Huron River chemical spill, MDHHS says

Huron River chemical spill
Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 18:26:01-04

(WXYZ) — The state of Michigan is lifting its recommendation for no contact with the Huron River after toxic chemicals were released into the river two weeks ago.

After reviewing data collected from the release of hexavalent chromium on July 29, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services determined the level of chemicals are not a risk to human health.

The no-contact recommendation was issued Aug. 2. People and pets were recommended to avoid contact with the Huron River between North Wixom Road in Oakland County and Kensington Road in Livingston County.

MDHHS will continue testing samples.

The spill stems from the release of 10,000 gallons of the cancer-causing chemical due to improper disposal from Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom. The sewer feeds the Wixom wastewater treatment plant and discharges to the Huron River.

The company was citing with several violations.

MDHHS received data Wednesday from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy that found samples below levels of concern. The review found:

  • Levels were lower than initially thought
  • Trivalent chromium was the predominate chemical found and not hexavalent chromium
  • Hexavalent chromium was not found in most of the surface water samples

“MDHHS is lifting its no-contact recommendation for the Huron River based on testing results we have received over the past week,” MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “The collaboration between local and state officials illustrates the strong commitment our state has to the health and safety of Michigan families.”

Testing results can be found on the state’s website.

Anyone with questions can call MDHHS’s MI Toxic Hotline at 800-648-6942 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and Sunday, Aug. 14.