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Dingell Requests EPA Involvement in Tribar Technologies Chemical Release

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today sent a letter to EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore requesting the agency’s involvement in remedying the release and spread of hexavalent chromium into the Huron River last week by Tribar Technologies.
“After extensive briefings and conversations with Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on this situation, the State of Michigan would benefit from additional technical assistance from EPA as they review the totality of the robust sampling data they have collected, and are in the process of still collecting, on the extent of the chemical release," said Congresswoman Dingell. "The state, and the public, would benefit greatly from the resources and expert analysis and feedback EPA could provide. EPA has an important role here and we urge and support EPA to get more directly involved to provide its resources and expertise immediately."
In addition to seeking greater involvement from the EPA to assist state and local officials during this emergency response, Congresswoman Dingell asked the following questions: 
1. To date, what has been EPA’s involvement since the public learned of the toxic chemical release from Tribar Technologies Inc. into the Huron River water system? What is EPA’s role in the emergency, and what resources can EPA provide?
2. Has EPA issued Tribar Technologies Inc. with a Clean Water Act order or any other federal order? If not, is EPA considering the issuance of any such an order following this chemical release?
3. What emergency notifications were made by Tribar Technologies Inc., and when were they made? Did Tribar Technologies Inc. notify the EPA or the National Response Center (NRC)? If yes, please provide a copy of the NRC notification and any other notification records.
4. Has EPA established an incident management team to help respond to this toxic emergency? If so, who is the incident commander, and who is the lead agency?
5. Has EPA been involved in the sampling and analysis plan (SAP) developed by EGLE and MDHHS following this chemical release into the Huron River water system? Has EPA provided technical review and assistance on the SAP? If so, please provide a copy.
6. Is EPA reviewing the water sample results being collected by EGLE and MDHHS? Does EPA believe there is any threat to any public drinking water systems?
7. Has EPA assisted in EGLE’s modeling or tracking of the chemical release? Does EPA agree with the projections?
8. What emergency actions have Tribar Technologies Inc. taken in the aftermath of this harmful chemical release, and are they cooperating in the emergency response?
9. Does EPA know the exact number of gallons of the hexavalent chromium solution that was released by Tribar Technologies Inc. and an accounting of all the possible chemicals included in this toxic release? If so, please provide as much detail as possible. 
10. Is the type of hexavalent chromium released into the Huron River water soluble? If so, what type of treatment would be most effective?
11. What are the impacts of the release on the Wixom wastewater treatment plant? Additionally, does EPA expect any increase in PFAS contamination in the Huron River as a result of this chemical release incident?
12. Moving forward, how will EPA ensure there are no further toxic chemical releases by Tribar Technologies Inc.?
13. Tribar Technologies Inc. has a long history of chemical releases into the environment, most notably its contributions to the extensive PFAS contamination in the Huron River currently. How does EPA plan to hold this company accountable for these reckless and continuing toxic releases into the environment and surrounding communities?
14. What is the long-term remedy for restoring the Huron River following this toxic release and the PFAS releases caused by Tribar Technologies Inc.?

View the full text of the letter here.
“The harmful release and spread of hexavalent chromium into the Huron River over the past week by Tribar Technologies is inexcusable and deeply disturbing. Authorities at every level are working around the clock to ensure the safety of the public, wildlife, and the environment,” Rep. Dingell said last week of the toxic chemical release. “My team and I have been in constant contact with federal, state, and local officials from the outset to quickly address this chemical spill, to contain it, and monitor all potential safety risks. There is a daily rigorous sampling regime in place and all of us are watching intensely and determined to protect public health.”

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