FLAT ROCK, MI – Dangerous fumes in the town of Flat Rock’s sanitary sewer system, which prompted evacuations and emergency declarations this week, have been attributed to a fuel spill from the plant in Ford Motor Co. assembly, according to the company and state officials.
The Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) reports that between 1,000 and 3,000 gallons of unleaded fuel from the Ford plant entered the city’s sewers this week, creating dangerous fumes that evacuated 10 homes and a school, the River Heights. Academy.
Hazardous materials crews began injecting fire extinguisher foam into the Flat Rock sewer system on Friday evening in a bid to break hydrocarbon bonds and reduce their combustibility, the spokeswoman said. from EGLE, Jill Greenberg.
The foam does not contain PFAS chemicals, she said.
High levels of harmful fumes later, identified as benzene, were found in an area of 4 square miles of Flat Rock as of Tuesday, Aug.31, according to city officials at a press conference on Friday morning. The resulting emergency response involved a dozen local, state and federal agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The area of concern is bounded by Vreeland Road, Cahill Road, Woodruff Road and I-75.
Greenberg said the Ford plant, which builds Mustangs in Flat Rock, has started inserting specialized plugs into the on-site sewer system and taking other mitigation measures.
Bob Holycross, Ford’s vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told the Detroit News on Friday that the company discovered on Wednesday “what originally looked like a relatively small leak in a pipe that carries the gasoline used to power the vehicles built at the plant “. but it was later “determined that the magnitude of the fuel leak was much greater, and that Ford is the likely source of the problem at Flat Rock, for which we apologize.”
Wayne County Director Warren Evans declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, followed by a similar statement from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday.
Anyone who smells a chemical product in Flat Rock should contact the Fire Department’s non-emergency line at 734-782-2496 and dial 0. Anyone feeling sick from the odors should leave their residence immediately or his business, get out into the fresh air and dial 911.