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Friends of the Rouge ask for investigation into Northville Downs oil spill

Northville — The nonprofit Friends of the Rouge has asked Mayor Brian Trumbull to investigate a June 21 oil spill at the Downs development property and determine what measures need to be put in place to avoid a repeat accident.

Between 80 and 85 gallons of oil spilled from eight drums and a storage container during the demolition of a building on the property, according to the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. There was no danger to the public and containment procedures were implemented starting the day of the spill, the city said last week.

Some of the petroleum products leaked into a storm drain and entered the Rouge River, according to the city. A boom to contain and collect oil was placed in the river the night of the spill and a second boom was added the following morning.

Demolition is underway at the Northville Downs property, previously home to a horse racing track. The work is part of a $300 million development that will create 443 new housing units, several new parks, and unearth a previously buried part of the Rouge River.

The developer, Hunter Pasteur, hired a clean-up contractor who reported to EGLE on Monday. They saw no evidence of impacts on the river during last week’s heavy rains and planned to remove the booms this week, EGLE spokesman Hugh McDiarmid Jr. said. Some waste product remains contained on the site pending lab characterization so it can be properly disposed of, McDiarmid said.

Read More: Friends of the Rouge ask for investigation into Northville Downs oil spill

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