Wixom company issued violations over Huron River chemical spill

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) issued violations Tuesday to a company responsible for the Huron River chemical spill.

Related: Water testing detects no hexavalent chromium in Huron River

According to the state, Tribar Manufacturing in Wixom released a plating solution containing hexavalent chromium the weekend of July 29.

Tribar was cited for:

  • Failing to immediately notify EGLE immediately after discovering the discharge as required under the law and their industrial user discharge permit.
  • Sending an unauthorized discharge of pollutants to the wastewater treatment facility that resulted in interference to the treatment process, violating pretreatment rules in the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA).
  • Failure to maintain a properly updated Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIPP) and failing to certify compliance with NREPA rules regarding spillage of oil and polluting materials.

EGLE said it was notified last week about several thousands of gallons of a liquid with 5% hexavalent chromium that had been released into the water.

More: What is hexavalent chromium?

This led to a "no contact" advisory for the river and bodies of water it runs into from North Wixom to Kensington roads.

Tribar has until Aug. 20 to respond in writing to the violation notices.

The company was also issued separate notices from EGLE’s Air Quality Division (AQD) stemming from an unrelated July 21 inspection.

These violations include:

  • Metal treatment tanks not being properly controlled, which may have allowed unauthorized emissions of nickel and total chrome.
  • Failure to keep proper records that would document compliance with air permit conditions for various processes.

According to the state, the AQD notices include multiple instances of records not being kept as required in the company’s air permits. 

Because records were not kept as required, the company could not show compliance with several pollutants, including volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants, how much of certain chemicals were used in certain time frames, and the information to show control equipment on the coating line was operating properly.

The notices also include violations for not properly operating equipment to minimize and control emissions of nickel and total chrome.

Tribar has until Aug. 30 to submit explanations of how the violations occurred and what actions are being taken to resolve them.