Michigan, Wixom: Don’t touch the water! Several thousand gallons carcinogen hexavalent chromium “released” (dumped?) by Tribar Manufacturing into sewer system, then Huron River

Video at link:

State Officials Say Testing Continues After Huron River Chemical Spill, Preliminary Results Detect No Presence It’s easy for industry and regulators, notably those controlled by industry, to sample to intentionally avoid detection of toxic chemicals. Alberta Environment excels at it, so does Encana/Ovintiv; and “Best in Class,” Best in the World” AER refuses to test at all, sealing the “everything is fine” deal to keep polluters polluting by DeJanay Booth, August 5, 2022, DetroitCBSlocal

… “how long before it’s safe to go back into the water?” … How many decades must I haul alternate water before I get my wonderful safe well water supply fixed or replaced after AER, Alberta Health and Alberta Environment let Encana/Ovintiv illegally frac the aquifers that supply my well and other wells in the area including the hamlet of Rosebud? Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen. Alberta Environment found it in the hamlet’s drinking water supply after Encana/Ovintiv’s illegal aquifer fracs, and regulator and Encana testing on my well found that chromium in my water increased by a factor of 45.

Hexavalent Chromium by Huron River Watershed Council, August 2022

Signs at Kent Lake advising the public to stay out of the water

On Tuesday, August 2, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) announced that several thousand gallons of hexavalent chromium were discharged from Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom sometime in the past weekend. The effluent went through Wixom’s wastewater treatment before hitting the river via Norton Creek. Hexavalent chromium was still present in the treated water. The details of this event, including the scope and severity, are still being determined.

What we know now is that people should stay out of the water in the upper Huron River above Kensington Road and below Wixom Road. That area includes Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark, part of Island Lake State Rec Area, and the stretch of river through Milford.

EGLE is onsite and actively investigating. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, local and county governments in the impact area and throughout the Huron River are also engaged in response. HRWC is tracking this issue closely and is committed to communicating the best available information on this event as it becomes available.

Please refer to these key resources for up-to-date information:

> EGLE Press Release Aug. 10 (EGLE issues violation notices to Tribar, investigation continues)

> EGLE Press Release Aug. 8 (no contact advisory still in place, testing and investigation continues)

> EGLE Press Release Aug. 6 (no contact–people and pets- advisory still in effect, low-level detection in Kent Lake)

> EGLE Press Release Aug.5 (update on testing, advisory still in effect)

> EGLE Press Release Aug. 4 (preliminary test results, what’s next, good news for drinking water wells)

> EGLE Press Release Aug. 3 (testing and health hotline)

> EGLE Press Release Aug. 2 (no contact advisory for upper Huron)

> City of Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant webpage

No contact areas in upper Huron.
press event tribar

On Wednesday, Aug 10, Heavner Canoe Rental will be hosting a press event about the recent hexavalent chromium spill from Tribar Technologies to the Wixom wastewater treatment plant. State Senator Yousef Rabhi and Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner (WRC) rep Dave Woodward will call for support of Polluter Pay laws. HRWC is also in support of Polluter Pay laws. Other speakers include reps from the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and Clean Water Action – Michigan. A few HRWC staff will be there to share out perspectives and calls to action, and to be available for press interviews.

All of us here at HRWC are heartbroken about the implications for our beloved river. This event and countless others throughout Michigan, even over the past year, demonstrate how weak Michigan’s protections for the environment have become. We are committed to fighting for Tribar to take responsibility for their negligence and pushing the state to take the most aggressive enforcement action possible against Tribar.

Encana/Ovintiv illegally frac’d Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers in 2001 and 2004. It astounds me how deeply I continue to grieve the loss of my wonderful safe FREE water supply. My well was the best producer in the valley; it provided unlimited soft fabulous water in an area known for inadequate water supplies.

Now I must maintain a truck for hauling alternate lousy water (corroding the water infrastructure in my house) and drive 45 minutes one way to buy it. Expensive on gas and wear and tear on the truck; exhausting and aggravating me, and time wasting.

From the news media – articles and coverage of this issue

No toxic compound found in Huron River, but state expands monitoring (Detroit News)

Latest Huron River tests find no cancer-causing chromium; advisory remains (Bridge Michigan)

Anger, uncertainty and a race for answers in Huron River chromium spill (Bridge Michigan)

Officials shut Wixom plant after chemical release, assess contamination at water treatment plant (Crain’s Detroit Business) In Alberta, officials engaged in fraud to help Encana cover up its crimes, and to keep frac’ing hundreds more gas wells in fresh water zones around Rosebud after the company’s illegal acts contaminated the community’s drinking water supply. They even let the company frac new wells in the community during the regulator’s “investigation.” Worse, the regulators deregulated as fast as they could, including allowing frac’ers to commingle gas wells making it impossible for accurate isotopic fingerprinting analysis of industry’s gases in all the communities where companies had gas contaminated drinking water with their activities.

Cancer-causing hexavalent chromium spills from Wixom plant into Huron River (Bridge Michigan)

‘No contact’ with Huron River advised after toxic chemical release (MLive)

En Español: EGLE continúa pruebas de derrame de sustancia química en el río Hurón (Latinos en Michigan)

Other Links

Oakland County Hexavalent Chromium web page

Washtenaw County Hexavalent Chromium webpage


What we know now is that people should stay out of the water in the upper Huron River above Kensington Road and below Wixom Road. That area includes Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark, part of Island Lake State Rec Area, and the stretch of river through Milford. …

Refer also to:

Above snap from: API Oilwell Cement, Class ‘G’, Moderate Sulphate Resistant

Class G oilwell cement is commonly used in oil and gas wells. Encana intentionally injected it into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers in July 2004 to try to stop the fresh water production in Gas Well 05-14-27-22 W4M that the company fractured directly into the community’s drinking water aquifers a few months earlier (hexavalent chromium is also found in frac fluids).

Ignoring court orders, Encana/Ovintiv never filed with Ernst, all chemicals the company injected into fresh water zones around Rosebud’s contaminated drinking water wells (private and municipal), not even the chemicals Encana injected intentionally and directly into the drinking water aquifers used by the community. Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Neil C. Wittmann ordered Encana to file all relevant records with Ernst no later than December 19, 2014.

75% of Drinking Water in America is Contaminated With Cancer-causing Chromium-6; In Canada too?

Another study: Preliminary Results Find Increased Cancer, Health Risks From Road Dumping Drilling Wastewater, Especially For Children; Arsenic, lead, manganese, nickel, hexavalent chromium in road dust contaminated by wastewater

Jackson Co, Wisconsin: Elevated levels cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc were found in surface water samples after 400,000 gallows muddy frac sand mine spill into Curran Coulee Creek; Aluminum concentrations more than 17 times higher than upstream of spill site

Chemical Company Elementis Chromium Inc. Failed to Disclose Public Health Risks from exposure to hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen, Judge Rules in Favor of EPA

2013: Evidence Presented by Encana to 41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION Standing Committee Natural Resources; Encana taking step to stop frac’ing with benzene, diesel, chromium, arsenic, mercury etc Taking a step in 2013 after promising to take the same damn step a decade earlier, does not mean completing it.

2003: This is how Encana got rid of the company’s toxic waste in the Suffield National Wildlife Area: Alberta Landspraying While Drilling (LWD) Review: unlawfully.

… The AEUB [then ERCB, now AER] had conducted drilling waste audits on 51 LWD sites throughout the Province. The information (paper) audit consisted of a review of information supplied from companies on disposals conducted between 2001 and 2003.  Of the 51 audits, eight passed….

Part of the FOIP records that forced the release – three years later – of this report by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development

2005: Presentation by Encana showing harmful metals in Encana’s frac and drilling fluids, in Canada’s National Wildlife Area for endangered prairie species at Suffield, Alberta:

2005: Promises then made by Encana went nowhere except into a dusty file until next time PR was needed to con gov’t, the public and the harmed. Note the escape hatch word “should” and Encana’s word smithery making toxic frac fluids “environmentally friendly” without doing a thing (except talk). Especially note Encana deflecting blame onto “frac fluid companies.” Encana is the frac’er that hires subcontractors including frac fluid companies to complete its wells; Encana is responsible for the toxicity it dumps where ever it operates, no one else.

2011 & 2012: After promising to be more “environmentally friendly” Encana continued to unlawfully get rid of its toxic waste in my community, after frac’ing our drinking water aquifers, also unlawfully. Promises Schmomishes:

2011: Encana/Ovintiv waste dumped again on crop land at Rosebud, Alberta

2012: Encana/Ovintiv waste dumped, again, on the same crop land at Rosebud, Alberta. In spring run off and rain storms, dumped waste runs off the cropland, down the coulee into the Rosebud River.

I expect Encana/Ovintiv still uses toxic chemicals to frac its energy wells, including known carcinogen hexavalent chromium, and even into fresh water zones, and keeps on breaking the law with regulators nowhere to be seen but looking the other way.

Fracturing: Salts of trivalent chromium (Cr3 +) oxidized to hexavalent (Cr6 +) known as chromate

Toxic chromium found in Chicago drinking water- Detected levels are more than 11 times higher than California’s new standard

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