Land once owned by Ford Motor Co. in Shelby Township, Mich., will be tested for hazardous substances, officials said.
Environmental consulting company Dragun Corp. said it will test the 200-acre site for chemical solvents trichloroethylene and trichloroethane, which tainted shallow groundwater at a property to the east of the one-time Ford Utica Trim plant, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.
Trichloroethylene and trichloroethane are solvents. Trichloroethylene can have carcinogenic affects if it contaminates air or water while trichloroethane can act as a central nervous system depressant if it contaminates air or water.
Officials said any cleanup could top $57 million.
An adjacent condominium development in the Macomb County township uses well water for watering common areas, the News said. The condo association tested an irrigation well for the solvents but results came up negative.
"I'm concerned there's a possibility that it spreads," Mike Grobbel, president of the board of directors of Manors at Central Park Condo Association, told the newspaper. "But the possibility is low."
Contamination expert James Dragun said he documented a plume of the hazardous substances to the east on another piece of property once owned by Ford, which he said was indicative of "a substantial release."
Dragun said testing is "not going to take a year and it won't be a week."
Although Ford doesn't own the 200-acre site, bought in 2010 by Indiana Metals LLC after it was shut down, the automaker remains responsible for remediation of contaminated soil.
"We have not seen any data to support that anything is leaving the former plant site and moving into the neighboring community," Ford said in a statement. "Ford remains committed to doing what is right for the community and the environment."
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