- Associated Press - Thursday, November 17, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - Great Lakes Water Authority records show a hazardous waste processing facility in Detroit has released excessive amounts of mercury, arsenic, cyanide and other toxic chemicals into the city sewer system over 150 times since September 2010.

Waste management service US Ecology is allowed to put pretreated chemical waste into the sewer system under strict requirements, the Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/2f4OEWU ) reported.

The records show frequent, and sometimes alarming, violations of permitted maximum discharges of at least 20 hazardous chemicals or metals. The violations were discovered during inspections by the authority or self-reported by US Ecology.

The records also show the company almost never provided a required written explanation to Water Authority officials.

Local residents have been wary of the hazardous waste facility’s proximity to their homes, schools, churches and playgrounds.

“I’m horrified. This is not acceptable,” said local resident Diane Weckerle.

US Ecology spokesman David Crumrine said in an email that instances of discharge excess aren’t frequent and ones that do occur tend to be minor.

State and local regulators said the releases never threatened human health or the environment.

However, environmental experts have said there is potential cumulative environmental damage from even the smallest amounts of some toxins not adequately controlled at the hazardous waste facility.

US Ecology had wastewater discharge violations in eight to 10 months of every year from 2011 through 2015.

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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