Howell company Diamond Chrome Plating will no longer use trichloroethylene in its operations, according to a state official.
The company told the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy on Wednesday it has emptied and shut down its degreaser, sealed away all of its liquid TCE and other items such as rags that were used with it, and will dispose of them according to federal hazardous waste laws, said Nick Assendelft, EGLE public information officer.
This comes as the state has been investigating the company since March after elevated levels of TCE were found at the facility at 604 S. Michigan Ave. The state determined the samples had leaked out of the building and into the neighborhood after TCE was found at a dry cleaning facility in Howell. The company, which provides metal finishing to aircraft, uses the substance to remove grease from metal parts.
“My understanding is they’ve quarantined the TCE and are waiting for it to be removed,” Assendelft said.
The company turned off its degreaser last week after air test results earlier this month found TCE in the outdoor air around the facility, state officials said.
Test results from this past weekend on five samples for TCE were less than 2 micrograms per cubic liter, according to a letter sent Monday to Howell residents from Jenifer Dixon, air quality liaison for EGLE.
The safe level for exposure is 2 micrograms per cubic liter, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Initial sample results taken earlier this month showed 10 of 19 had non-detectable levels while the remaining nine had levels below 2 micrograms per cubic liter, according to Dixon’s letter.
Exposure to elevated levels of TCE may cause defects in developing fetuses, compromise immune systems and increase the risk of developing kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Last week, health officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Livingston County Health Department held a discussion updating the public on the issue.
Up-to-date information on the Diamond Chrome Plating situation can be found at www.michigan.gov/diamondchrome. The page will be updated as new test results and information become available.
Check back for updates.
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Sean Bradley at 517-552-2860 or at s[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @SbradleyLD.
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