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Revere Dock fined $60K for Detroit River dock collapse, material spill

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An aerial video of the Detroit property contaminated with uranium and other dangerous chemicals partially collapsed into the Detroit River.

Detroit Free Press

The owner of a Detroit River dock that collapsed in November 2019, spilling large piles of gravel-type rocks into the river, has been fined $60,000 by state regulators for violating state environmental laws.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy announced the fine to Revere Dock LLC on Monday. The company is affiliated with Erickson’s Inc. of Muskegon, and has historically stored large piles of aggregate rocks along the shoreline, brought there by ships.

A consent agreement between EGLE and Revere Dock cites four alleged violations of the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy Act: 

  • Discharging a substance into the waters of the state that may or may not become injurious to the public, animals or fish
  • Unlawful occupation and filling of a floodplain and stream channel
  • Violations of due care responsibilites
  • Filling the Detroit River bottomlands without a permit

Revere Dock agreed to the settlement without acknowledging it committed the alleged violations.

The fines, which must be paid by Friday, compensate the state for investigation and enforcement activities related to the dock collapse and spill.

About 200 feet of an old wood, concrete and asphalt dock and seawall partially collapsed Nov. 26 at the former Revere Copper and Brass site at 5851 W. Jefferson Ave., near Historic Fort Wayne. Detroit Bulk Storage was leasing the site from Revere Dock/Erickson’s to store large piles of limestone aggregate along the river. A ship dropped off a large pile of aggregate at the site about a day before the collapse, and heavy rains may have been a factor.

EGLE did not learn of the dock collapse and materials spill until a week later, when a reporter on the other side of the river, in Windsor, made inquiries.

More:

Detroit Bulk Storage had similar Detroit River bank collapse in 2011

Groups to city: Protect Detroit River, drinking water from shoreline collapses

The spill initially created great concern, as the Revere site at one time contained radioactive materials from the days when it was utilized for atomic bomb component and uranium rod development in the 1940s and 1950s. But testing by both the Great Lakes Water Authority, which has drinking water intakes in the Detroit River, and EGLE turned up no excessive amounts of radioactivity. Further testing found no excessive levels of industrial contaminants in the river water near the collapse site.

In conjunction with the consent agreement, EGLE also issued a permit with stipulations allowing Revere Dock to proceed with a restoration plan it submitted in March to install a 600-foot seawall at the dock collapse site, and remove spilled aggregate piles and collapsed dock and bank material from the river. The company’s work plan includes provisions to limit disturbance of historically contaminated sediments in the river, and to properly dispose of material dredged from the site, EGLE officials said.

Revere Dock is to complete the work by July 2021 under terms of the permit.

Contact Keith Matheny: 313-222-5021 or [email protected]

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