Whitmer administration reviews criminal charges against 'green ooze' polluter

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer


Governor calls on Legislature to pass “Polluter Pay” legislation to force polluters to pay for cleaning up contamination 

On Dec. 30, about ten days after a mysterious green substance pooling on I-696 closed traffic on the highway, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement on actions her administration is taking to clean up the “green ooze” pollution in Oakland County, to hold the polluter accountable, and to strengthen pollution inspection and enforcement procedures at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to prevent future contamination: 

“Since taking office, I've remained committed to protecting public health and safety. The ongoing situation in Madison Heights is very concerning, and further stresses the need to enforce protections that keep Michiganders safe. State experts are on location assisting in the ongoing clean-up efforts. I’m grateful for their vigilant efforts during this holiday season.”

Even prior to the green ooze incident, the owner of Electro Plating Services on 10 Mile Rd. had pleaded guilty to one count of illegally storing hazardous materials and reported to federal prison in West Virginia Friday, Jan. 2. The contamination was determined to be in part hexavalent chromium.  

“My administration is actively reviewing all means of accountability, including further criminal charges against the polluter who caused this mess,” Gov. Whitmer continued. “...I also directed EGLE to conduct a formal review of its pollution inspection procedures to strengthen enforcement and accountability. 

“This situation demonstrates the need for broad reforms to address problems of critical underfunding and understaffing at the department following eight years of one-party control in Lansing. It’s time for Republicans in the legislature to ensure EGLE has the technology and resources it needs to keep the public safe.

“They should also pass ‘Polluter Pay’ legislation championed by Democrats

in the Legislature that will force polluters to clean up the mess they make. Working with federal and local partners, my administration will stay focused on cleaning up
contaminated sites sooner, addressing root causes, and holding polluters accountable.” 


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