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Michigan Environment Department Issues Violation Notices To Tribar Manufacturing In Huron River Chemical Release

(CBS DETROIT) -- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) says it is issuing violation notices to Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom, the company responsible for a chemical spill in the Huron River.

According to a press release, the department's Water Resources Division says Tribar violated the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

The company was cited for failing to notify EGLE immediately about the discharge, sending an unauthorized discharge to the Wixom Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), and failure to maintain a properly updated Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIPP).

Officials say on Aug. 1, Tribar notified EGLE that it had released several thousand gallons of a liquid containing hexavalent chromium into the sewer system days prior.

The company submitted a report on Aug. 5 to EGLE, the city of Wixom and the state Department of Health and Human Services.

According to EGLE, the report revealed that contents from a 14,923-gallon rinse waste holding tank containing about 10,000 gallons of chromic acid etch material with 5% chromium was emptied on July 29 "and entered the sanitary sewer as a slug discharge."

"The slug discharge resulted in the Wixom WWTP experiencing pass-through and interference," read the violation notice. "The Part 23 Rules (Pretreatment administrative rules) expressly prohibit a nondomestic user from introducing any pollutant to a publicly owned treatment works that causes pass-through or interference. The slug discharge from Plant 5 is a violation of the Part 23 Rules."

Officials say Part 5 Rules (Spillage of Oil and Polluting Materials) requires Tribar to maintain a PIPP and certify that the facility is in full compliance with the rules.

The company must submit a written response to the violation notice by Aug. 20 and provide details, such as a rundown of events before the spill, the exact time the material entered the water treatment plant and ceased, and the exact time Wixom was notified of the discharge on Aug. 1.

On Monday, state health officials said testing of 55 locations did not detect hexavalent chromium in the Huron River system downstream of the release.

Health officials recommend that people and pets avoid contact with the river water in parts of Oakland and Livingston counties. It also advises that fish caught in that area should not be eaten.

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