Michigan auto company releases industrial chemicals into river

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Michigan environmental officials notified an an auto trim maker that it violated the law by releasing industrial chemicals into a river system northwest of Detroit.

Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says its Water Resources Division issued citations Tuesday to Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom for discharging a plating solution containing hexavalent chromium into a sanitary sewer system the weekend of July 29.

The solution was routed to an area wastewater treatment facility that discharges wastewater to a creek that flows into the Huron River system.

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Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen that can cause a number of adverse health effects through ingestion, skin contact or inhalation, according to Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services.

A Michigan auto trim service released Hexavalent chromium into a river near Detroit.

A Michigan auto trim service released Hexavalent chromium into a river near Detroit.

Tribar Manufacturing was cited for failing to immediately notify the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy after discovering the discharge. It also was cited for sending an unauthorized discharge of pollutants to the wastewater treatment facility that resulted in interference to the treatment process.

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Tribar Manufacturing has been given until Aug. 20 to respond in writing to the notices, according to the state agency. The Associated Press called Tribar Manufacturing Wednesday afternoon but was unable to leave a message on the company’s voicemail system.

On Monday, state health officials said testing of 55 locations did not detect hexavalent chromium in the Huron River system downstream of the release.

Health officials recommend that people and pets avoid contact with the river water in parts of Oakland and Livingston counties. It also advises that fish caught in that area should not be eaten.

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The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said it is continuing to investigate why the chemical release occurred and the exact volume and product that was released.