Owner of leaking chemical building in Madison Heights to get early release from prison due to COVID-19

The City of Madison Heights has been given permission to tear down the contaminated site that caused the green ooze to leak on I-696 - and the taxpayers won't have to foot the bill. 

The toxic hexavalent chromium came from Electroplating Services in December of 2019. Now, five months later a judge has ruled the City can tear the building down, news environmental officials on both the state and federal level have been waiting for. 

"We can't finish clean-up at the site until that building is gone because the core of the contamination was at the basement below the building. Once that's exposed than we can truly treat the site," said Jill Greenberg, spokesperson for Michigan Environment, Great Lakes, And Energy. 

The owner of the business, Gary Sayers, is serving time in federal prison for illegally storing hazardous materials - but he's getting an early release due to COVID-19. 

He's getting out six months early and will serve the remainder of his sentence on house arrest, and he's been ordered to pay for the demolition of the building.

Meanwhile, environmental officials have still been on site. 

"Right now we're working on short-term remediation for existing contamination, like the embankment going on down that was significantly impacted. Current operations, they never stopped over the last several months."

In early 2020, test results show the toxic chemicals did not contaminate the drinking water