On or about February 7, 2024, a water line inside the former Fini Finish Custom Plating shop building broke causing approximately 580,000 gallons of water to flood the shop, located at 24657 Mound Rd., in Warren, Michigan. As a result, electroplating chemicals entered into storm sewers onsite and subsequently along Mound Road that flow to an outfall in Bear Creek.
On February 8, in the late morning, EPA arrived on-scene at the request of Michigan Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). EPA, in conjunction with the City of Warren, was able to shut off the public water supply to the property in an effort to stabilize the site and prevent a further release. EPA and EGLE observed plating shop material debris covering the plating shop floor, staining in the access road beside the building that was indicative of plating material debris being washed out of the building and entering into the storm sewer system. Upon further inspection, plating material debris was observed in the onsite storm sewer, and at numerous locations in the storm sewer system along Mound Road. EPA then followed the storm sewer system along Mound Road to its outfall in Bear Creek. Foaming and a fine green-blue sediment was observed in Bear Creek.
As a result of the observations of release, EPA and EGLE began collecting samples of the plating material at the shop, a wastewater sample from within the storm sewer, and samples of surface water and sediment in Bear Creek to determine if the material contained hazardous substances. Cleanup efforts were then conducted to jet and vacuum the storm sewers along Mound Road to recover the plating material debris.
On February 9, 2024, EPA completed cleaning the storm sewer at the site, conducted foam recovery efforts in Bear Creek, and installed "pom-pom" booming was placed in Bear Creek at two locations to disrupt suspended plating debris solids from further travelling down Bear Creek. With that effort, EPA completed its cleanup and returned authority to EGLE as the lead cleanup agency.
On February 13, 2024, EPA recieved the final lab results. EPA tested for constituents of concern (COCs) commonly associated with plating shop operations. Although detectionswere noted, there were no exceedances of Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) or Removal Management Levels (RMLs) for any constituent.