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EGLE: Drinking Water Not Contaminated By 'Green Ooze' On I-696

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - The green ooze found on I-696 last month sparked concerns about environmental safety due to carcinogen hazards.

A mixture of three chemicals caused an emergency investigation by the environmental protection agency in Madison Heights.

"So we have trichloroethylene, also known as TCE, we have hexavalent chromium and we have cyanide," said Wayne State University Chemistry Professor Stephanie Brock.

The combination produced a green substance that leaked on I-696 last month.

green ooze (Credit: EGLE)

"From an environmental perspective the biggest concern is this hexavalent chromium. That's the reason for the color you see the green ooze that we have here," said Brock.

The owner of a former electroplating service building housed the chemicals and failed to properly dispose the cancer-causing material.

"The company owner was not properly taking care of the waste he was just mixing all of these different waste streams together and then it becomes mobile in the environment," she said. "It passes over mostly surface water into soils and that's how it migrated from this unlined pit that he dug in his basement umm over to (I-696)."

Home owners near the area say their biggest concerns are not only their property value but the overall effect that the green ooze might have on the environment.

"If you're close to that and you're worried about having this kind of stuff in your environment you know … You want to know exactly where it is and make sure your kids aren't out there you know playing in the yard where you've got this green ooze going through it," said Brock.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says the drinking water is not contaminated by the ooze.

If you would like to know if the chemical mix is migrating near you contact the EPA.

For more information from the EPA on the chemicals and how it affects you, visit here.

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