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Tribar Technologies facing environmental violations over chemical spill  in Huron River

Huron_River_from_Bridge_on_Kensington_Road_Green_Oak_Township_Michigan-e1660164654849-768x512.jpg

State environmental regulators are going after Tribar Technologies, the company responsible for dumping a dangerous chemical into the Huron River last month.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy served the Wixom company with multiple violations late Tuesday. EGLE alleges the company did not notify authorities of the discharge of a hexavalent chromium solution in a timely manner and did not follow rules guarding against the release of toxic chemicals.

The auto parts manufacturer was also given notice of violations for not having an incident prevention plan and other issues having to do with containment tanks stemming from a July 21 inspection that happened before the hexachrome spill on July 29.

EGLE spokesperson Jill Greenberg says officials are still trying to get answers to several questions.

“Our Water Resources Division gave the company until Aug. 20 to respond in writing to its violation notices, including responses to a series of questions that are designed to figure out what exactly happened and what led up to the release,” Greenberg says.

Among the questions posed to the auto parts manufacturer are why an operator at the plant shut off a waste treatment alarm 460 times leading up to the release of the chemical.

Greenberg says officials with Tribar have refused to answer some questions and due to the urgency of the spill, investigators have sped up the oversight process.

“Due to the seriousness of the violations EGLE has initiated accelerated enforcement, which also will initiate administrative consent order process and seek full cost recovery from the company,” Greenberg says.

EGLE will be seeking to recover expenses of cleanup, testing and other costs associated with the spill.

Testing for hexavalent chromium continues in the Huron River and other bodies of water downstream from the spill. People are still asked to have no contact with parts of the Huron River in the Milford and Wixom areas due to the presence of the cancer-causing chemical.

Russ McNamara is a reporter and host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. McNamara has been working in radio since he was 17 - and in news since 2012. He also worked as play-by-play announcer for Wayne State University basketball for seven years. Born in the Upper Peninsula, McNamara is a lifelong Michigander. He is a 2002 graduate of Central Michigan University’s Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Program.