Chemical cleanup continues at foreclosed GR plant

An EPA cleanup sign at the site of a vacant Grand Rapids plant where toxic chemicals were found. (Feb. 8, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A large vat of toxic chemicals has leaked inside a foreclosed industrial plant in Grand Rapids.

The site is at the corner of Blane Avenue and Cottage Grove SE. Last year, the Kent County Land Bank took over the closed chrome plating company due to unpaid property taxes and discovered about 100 drums containing various highly corrosive chemicals were still there.

At the site Monday, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said some of the material had leaked into the cement. They are investigating whether it seeped out of the building. Officials say if the corrosive chemicals get into the air or water, they could lead to health problems for neighbors.

Outside of that, cleanup has continued.

“We’ve containerized all the chromic acid and the cyanide compounds and also swept up all the chromic dust that was on the floor. So it’s all in containers now and all secured. We’re just waiting to dispose of it now,” Steve Faryan, the on-scene coordinator for the emergency response branch of the EPA, said.

Once the cleanup is finished, the county will sell the property.

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