The Huron River in Huron Township. (Archive photo by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)
By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted Nov. 7, 2019
PFAS chemicals have been confirmed in potentially dangerous levels at former Chrysler Scio Introl Division located at 2880 Zeeb Road in Dexter, according to the State of Michigan.
The site is an active hazardous waste cleanup site that was already under scrutiny, according to the Huron River Watershed Council.
Additional testing conducted since last spring revealed high PFAS levels in the groundwater at the site.
One test indicated very high levels—1700 parts per trillion (ppt).
Groundwater from the plant flows to the south/southeast, toward the Huron River.
The former Chrysler manufacturer site near Huron River Drive and Zeeb Road in Scio Township is contaminated with PFAS chemicals.
PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s.
In March 2019, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended a warning first issued in August 2018 regarding unsafe PFAS levels in the Huron River.
Related: Michigan extends PFAS chemical warnings for Huron River
During that time, MDHHS said fish from the Huron River were not safe to eat due to high PFAS levels.
Officials at the time said touching the fish or water and swimming in the water bodies is not considered a health concern as PFAS do not move easily through the skin.
However, those on the Huron River were warned in September 2018 not to swallow foam that might be floating on the surface of the water.
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy says it will continue to investigate by reviewing the information and working with the facility’s consultants to determine the next steps.
A timeline of recent developments:
- On March 12, 2019, the facility’s consultant collected groundwater samples.
- On April 30, 2019, EGLE received the results of the March sampling event. The highest PFOS+PFOA groundwater result was 1,700 ppt.
- In the summer of 2019, additional plume delineation and source investigation were conducted. EGLE received the initial draft report of this work on October 22, 2019, and is in the process of reviewing and verifying the data.
The former auto pant location is classified as a “Part 111” hazardous waste site, which gives the state greater enforcement authority compared to other contaminated locations.
This facility formerly conducted several manufacturing operations related to the automobile industry, including plating.
Officials say all public drinking water in the Huron River watershed has tested within EPA health advisory levels.
Private wells, however, have not been tested in most cases. Concerned residents on private wells should contact their county health departments.
For more information on PFAS in the Huron River watershed, visit hrwc.org/pfas.