Ford conducts tests after vinyl chloride found in groundwater

Feb. 9, 2016

Groundwater testing will begin Tuesday around the Ford plant in Livonia, Michigan, after the automaker discovered vinyl chloride in groundwater on the east side of the facility.

Groundwater testing will begin Tuesday around the Ford plant in Livonia, Michigan, after the automaker discovered vinyl chloride in groundwater on the east side of the facility.

Over the next two weeks, Ford will drill boreholes near neighboring properties to identify the location of the cleaning agent and see if it has migrated offsite.

Samples containing the potentially cancer-causing chemical were found seven feet or more underground, Ford revealed last week.

“It’s a chemical that we haven’t used since the ’80s, so it’s a broken down version of that and concentrations are very low already. But per MDEQ [Michigan Department of Environmental Quality] criteria, we need to figure out where it stops and figure out what we need to do from there,” said John Cangany, sustainability communications manager at Ford, as quoted by WXYZ Detroit.

The company stressed that there was no health risk to people living in the area or to the city’s drinking water, which comes from the city of Detroit and the Great Lakes Water Authority.

On Feb. 3, Ford sent out letters to 110 Livonia residents to explain the additional testing it will be conducting, the Detroit News reported.

“This work is simply in an abundance of caution after a chemical — vinyl chloride — from past, historic manufacturing processes was identified in underground water (at depths of seven feet and greater) while making upgrades at the plant,” plant manager Robert A. Groden wrote in the letter. “Ford will be aggressive in investigating this and taking steps to mitigate, if needed, to continue our deep commitment and track record of being environmentally responsible and sustainable.”

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