Source: The Macomb Daily, April 23, 2013
By: Frank DeFrank
Groundwater contamination near the site of a closed Ford plant in Shelby Township is more widespread than initially believed, and cleanup of the site could cost as much as $150 million, a chemical expert said.
The situation could pose a health threat to residents in the area if the site isn’t soon cleaned up, said James Dragun, a soil chemistry expert.
“In our language, there is a threat to the public welfare and public health,” said Dragun, founder of the Dragun Corp., an environmental science and engineering consulting company. “… Threat indicates something that could happen.”
As part of an ongoing lawsuit in Macomb County Circuit Court, Dragun’s firm was hired by Shelby Township and developer Grand Sakwa to determine if operations over the years on the Ford property near 23 Mile and Mound roads impacted the environment. An initial report last year indicated health-threatening chemicals TCE and TCA were present in the groundwater. Now, the situation has worsened, Dragun said.
“If action is delayed, the problem grows,” Dragun said.
Moreover, the contamination is moving toward Central Park Manor, a residential development of some 500 homes near the old plant site.
Dragun has been critical of Ford for what he deems is the company’s failure to adequately address the problem and devise a remediation plan.