Residents want to block hazardous waste plant expansion

- Owners of a Detroit waste management plant want to expand their company, but people living nearby, say no.

Residents say they are concerned that U.S. Ecology wants to expand operations at this hazardous waste facility on Georgia Street.

"Once it gets past them, where is it going to go," said one resident. "It is going to get in our drains; it is going to get in our water. It is going to go everywhere.

"They should just buy everyone out. This is what you see right now when a little person doesn't have a voice."

The company has requested that Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality grant it a new permit allowing the company to increase its hazardous waste storage.

"The facility treats hazardous and non-hazardous waste in the forms of solids and wastewater from multiple industries," said David Crumrine of US Ecology. "Automotive, steel, as well as the retail industry."

The company says the expansion will allow it to continue operating safely, as it has for decades.

"We don't expect any impact," Crumrine said. "The operation has been in operation for 40 years with no negative impact to the environment or the community. And we wouldn't expect that to change with the permit renewal and its' modifications."

The Department of Environmental Quality is working to get public input on this possible expansion. The Department of Environmental Quality has extended the period for public input about the permit until Oct. 12.

Scott Benson of the Detroit City Council says he is working to make sure the residents' voices are heard.

A spokesperson from US Ecology confirmed that a group of residents will take a tour of the site to learn more about the operations Friday afternoon.

Officials at DEQ say public comments matter and they will not make a decision until the public input deadline is over.

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