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War Of Words Over Potential Issues At Freedom Hill Continue Between Warren Mayor, Macomb Officials

DETROIT (WWJ) - "Patently false." That's how Macomb County's Chief Deputy Executive describes the claims by Warren's Mayor regarding potential issues at the Freedom Hill site.

Mark Deldin tells WWJ that there is no environmental threat in the area -- and that Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel tried to call Mayor Fouts to tell him just that.

"He not only called his office in Warren," says Deldin, "but he called his personal cell phone and the Mayor still has not called the County Executive back - we don't know where he got his information from but it's erroneous and it's irresponsible."

Deldin notes that there have been elevated levels at one methane gas vent found at the Freedom Hill site, which has been reported to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

"Mayor Fouts did not reach out to County Executive Mark Hackel, our Health Department official or anyone else to find out the truth of the matter. There was no illegal dumping of soils or contamination on that landfill - so we don't quite know what the hype or hysteria is - that was caused by the city of Warren's leadership."

But he calls the Facebook post and subsequent comments Mayor Fouts has made about possible contamination at the site ... "irresponsible."

"What I had found out is that an excavating company illegally dumped upwards of 200,000 yards of excavation at the site (Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights). It might be as little as 150,000; it might be 200,000," Fouts told WWJ, adding that no permits to dump were issued by the South Macomb Disposal Authority (SMDA) or the DEQ.

"Now seven locations along the berm are leaking leachate," Fouts said.

Fouts said an "irresponsible" decision was made, pipes were broken and trees were destroyed. "Now seven locations along the berm are leaking leachate (liquid that moves through or drains from a landfill) and that was my concern about water."

[What is leachate?]

"The berms must be reshaped," said Fouts, "to meet the requirements of the DEQ. My understanding is that the DEQ has been out and the cost is going to be somewhere from half a million to a million dollars."

Fouts says the city of Warren will "not be paying one red cent" to fix the problem - pointing the finger at the South Macomb Disposal Authority.

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