(CBS DETROIT) — A recommendation not to contact Huron River was lifted Friday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
It comes after hexavalent chromium was released by Tribar Manufacturing into the Wixom Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) over the weekend of July 29. Officials say the sewer feeds the WWTP, which spilled into the Huron River.
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Tribar notified the town of Wixom of the chemical release on August 1.
“MDHHS is lifting its no-contact recommendation for the Huron River based on the test results we received over the past week,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. “The collaboration between local and state officials illustrates our state’s strong commitment to the health and safety of Michigan families.”
According to a press release, data from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) found that “chromium levels in the river were below levels of concern for health effects. human”.
The data review revealed:
- The amount of hexavalent chromium released into the Huron River was much lower than originally thought.
- The release was mostly trivalent chromium, not hexavalent chromium. Trivalent chromium is a micronutrient that is part of the human diet and is of much less concern from a health perspective.
- Hexavalent chromium was not detected in the majority of surface water samples. Detections in three samples were well below the level that could cause harm.
Officials say 146 water samples were taken from 42 river miles. Of these samples, only three detected hexavalent chromium and six chromium.
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EGLE says there is no immediate threat to drinking water.
“Public health and safety is paramount to EGLE’s mission,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. As diligent sampling and testing continues for miles of the Huron River system, along with additional support from communities, the hard work and long hours of EGLE and MDHHS teams have gotten us to where we we are today.
Earlier this week, EGLE announced that it issued notices of violation to Tribar Manufacturing.
The ministry’s water resources division says Tribar violated the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, citing the company for failing to immediately notify EGLE of the spill, sending an unauthorized spill to the station Wixom sewage treatment plant and failing to maintain a properly updated Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIP).
Tribar must submit a written response to the Notice of Violation by August 20 and provide details, such as an overview of the events prior to the spill, the exact time the material entered the processing plant of water and ceased, and the exact time Wixom was notified of the discharge on August 1.
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