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EPA begins $4 million ChemServe cleanup in Detroit

Release Date: 04/23/2008
Contact Information: (EPA) Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, (EPA) Dave Novak, 312-886-7478 (MDEQ) Robert McCann, 517-241-7397

No. 07-OPA072

CHICAGO (April 23, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 this week begins a projected $4 million cleanup of ChemServe Corp., which manufactured dyes and soaps at 9505 Copland St., in Detroit's Delray neighborhood.

EPA and partner agencies will host two open house sessions to discuss the project with residents on May 1, from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., at the Delray Neighborhood House, 420 Leigh St.

On March 25, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, with assistance from the Michigan Attorney General's office, issued an imminent hazard order requiring ChemServe owner Aram Moloian to shut down operations and clean up open and leaking drums, and other mismanaged hazardous materials on the property. EPA issued a comparable order on March 27 under the federal Superfund statute.

The cleanup is expected to continue through August or September. The project involves characterization, containment and proper disposal of about 2,000 drums and 3,000 smaller containers of potentially flammable or corrosive liquid waste and process chemicals. The work will be funded and managed by EPA's Grosse Ile-based Superfund emergency response team. Cost recovery efforts will follow on a separate track from the cleanup activity.

ChemServe has been the subject of numerous local, state and federal efforts to address hazardous site conditions. EPA is also conducting a cleanup at Dearborn Refining in Dearborn, Mich., another facility formerly
owned by Moloian. Utilizing funds via the Oil Pollution Act, Superfund has spent more than $2.6 million at Dearborn Refining since 2006.

In addition to the MDEQ and EPA orders, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth issued a notice to ChemServe on March 31 citing the company for occupational safety and health violations. On April 1, Detroit revoked ChemServe's operations permit.

Residents with questions about the cleanup may contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Dave Novak, 800-621-8431, Ext. 67478, or An information repository with site documents has been established at the Campbell Branch Library, 8733 W. Vernor.

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