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State orders company to protect Milford's drinking wells from contaminant

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 23:39:34-04

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — The former Kelsey-Hayes factory site in Milford has been gone for years, but the state of Michigan says the business' environmental impact is still lingering.

"This actually has been an ongoing problem for the village. There's multiple sources of contamination in town," EGLE project manager Kevin Wojciechowski told 7 Action News.

He said vinyl chloride was detected by a monitoring well near Central Park playground and that ZF Active Safety currently owns the liability.

In March, EGLE ordered ZF to put a treatment system in the village drinking water system. Wojciechowski said if the contaminant got into the drinking wells, then the treatment would clear the chemical before it's distributed to the general population.

Local resident Sarah Polcyn said, "I think it's great that they're going to fix the problem. I feel like it should be their responsibility."

Another local resident Dave Pruden said, "I think it's time to clean it up, prevent it from getting into the wells. Once it's in the wells, we're all screwed anyway."

EGLE said the actions ZF has been ordered to take are only preemptive, The drinking wells have not been contaminated and the goal is to keep the water safe to use.

"We'll continue, the state and ZF, to monitor these wells as part of that early warning system to keep the village water protected," Wojciechowski said.

A ZF spokesman shared the following statement with 7 Action News:

“ZF will continue its long-standing working relationship with EGLE and the Village of Milford to ensure that the ongoing activities at the site address the impacts from the former industrial operations and meet the timelines in the administrative order in a timely manner. ZF is committed to protecting the environment and acting as a responsible corporation and member of the community.

"Importantly, the compound in question has never been detected in any Village of Milford well and there is no known threat to the Village of Milford wells. As noted by EGLE, the activities required by the Administrative Order are pre-emptive measures and the Village of Milford water supply remains safe to use and drink.”