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State regulators identify chemical substance that oozed into Huntington Creek

State regulators identify chemical substance that oozed into Huntington Creek
Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-09 18:24:06-05

RIVERVIEW, Mich. (WXYZ) — Officials from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are on high alert after a chemical substance started oozing into Huntington Creek in Riverview this week.

 “This substance that we’ve found there, we presume is the same thing we found now, is called calcium hydroxide,” said Jeff Johnston, an EGLE representative.

 Johnston says calcium hydroxide is similar to household bleach.

 EGLE is warning people not to come in contact with the contaminated creek water.

 “Undiluted bleach obviously can cause chemical burns, irritation if you come in contact with it,” said Johnston.

 Johnston added that the chemical came from underneath the former McLouth steel plant site which sits on Jefferson Avenue in Riverview.

 “We have seen this happen over time on this site partially when the water table is high so when there is a lot of water on or in the ground it sort of seeps out,” Johnston added.

 The former McLouth site is now owned by the Riverview Trenton Railroad Company.

 A representative from the company sent 7 Action News a statement that reads:

RTRR was notified by EGLE last Friday 02-02-24 at 12:50pm that they made a visit to the site prior day and that high PH water was discovered to be migrating from the RTRR site. RTRR reacted immediately, providing a fence plan by 4:15pm that afternoon, and shortly thereafter had temporary fencing installed to cordon off the area prior to the weekend. This week, RTRR created a sump pit on its site for the purpose of intermittently pumping ground water into a frac tank to help eliminate or limit any migration from the RTRR site. RTRR continues to investigate the circumstances and believe some of the causes could beyond its control or jurisdiction. We will be providing an action plan to EGLE with regard to the immediate issue no later than 5pm on February 16, 2024. RTRR is taking this matter seriously and has regular communications with EGLE staff.