91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tests show below-background radiation levels at Detroit riverfront site that collapsed

The view of Windsor, Ontario from the Detroit riverfront
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
The view of Windsor, Ontario from the Detroit riverfront

State environmental regulators say tests done Friday show below-background levels of radiation at the site of a partial shoreline collapse into the Detroit River. 

Last week after heavy rains, a pile of gravel slid into the Detroit River, upstream from one of the water intake pipes used by the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

People were worried because the property was used in the 1940s by a company that built uranium parts for atomic bombs. 

State environmental regulatory staff tested numerous locations on the property and in the sediment in the river, finding only below-background levels of radiation. 

The property was also once remediated for PCBs. Staff also took water samples to look for PCBs and other industrial contaminants. 

Officials say the state lab will expedite testing on the samples.   

Meanwhile, more elected leaders are calling for an investigation into why there was such a long delay between the event, which happened the day before Thanksgiving, and when the Michigan Department of Environment found out about it - which was when they received a call from a reporter from the Windsor Star.

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) said in a press release:

I have significant concerns about the delay in both notifying the public about the collapse and the government regulatory agencies' response. This incident appears to be yet another example of the need to have tight safeguards for industry, especially those who operate near resources that millions depend on."

Want to support reporting like this? Consider making a gift to Michigan Radio today.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
Related Content