Vote now for Best of Detroit 2021

Monday, December 23, 2019

Green liquid that oozed onto I-696 is likely the toxic chemical featured in 'Erin Brockovich'

Posted By on Mon, Dec 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge 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.

A bright green liquid that was oozing onto I-696 in Madison Heights is likely a cancer-causing chemical featured in the movie Erin Brockovich, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).

The substance was discovered Friday coming from a retaining wall along the freeway, prompting a multi-jurisdictional investigation and cleanup.

State officials believe the substance was hexavalent chromium, a toxic and harmful chemical that appeared to come from Electro-Plating Services, which regulators forced to close in 2016 after inspectors discovered hundreds of containers of hazardous waste at the site. The owner, Gary Sayers, was sentenced to one year in federal prison on a charge of illegally storing the waste.

The substance is known to cause cancer and is harmful to the respiratory system, liver, kidneys, skin, and eyes, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tested the substance Friday and is expecting results back early this week.

State and federal officials said there was no immediate danger to the public.

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

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit 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. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation