Owner of factory responsible for toxic green ooze sent to prison

Green liquid oozing from retaining wall along I-696. - MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Michigan Department of Transportation
Green liquid oozing from retaining wall along I-696.

The owner of a now-shuttered factory that was so contaminated that it sent a hazardous, bright green ooze onto I-696 in Madison Heights reported to federal prison on Friday.

Gary Alfred Sayers, 70, was sent to FCI Morgantown, a minimum security detention center in West Virginia, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He is scheduled to be released on Nov. 9.

In November, Sayers was sentenced to a year in prison on a charge of illegally storing hazardous materials at Electro-Plating Services in Madison Heights.

Some of the hazardous materials were stored in a dirt hole in the basement, where the chemicals seeped into the ground and eventually found a path onto the freeway.

The green slime was groundwater contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, which was featured on the movie Erin Brockovich.

The EPA spent about $2 million and nearly a year to clean up the waste, but officials now acknowledge they underestimated how much toxic waste ended up in the ground.

Environmental officials, who insist there is no immediate danger to the public, now say they need to demolish the building to fully clean up the contamination.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.