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DETROIT MAYOR ANNOUNCES DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONTAMINATION OF UNIROYAL SITE ON EAST JEFFERSON

 DETROIT MAYOR ANNOUNCES DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONTAMINATION
 OF UNIROYAL SITE ON EAST JEFFERSON
 DETROIT, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young said today the city has begun discussions with two former owners of the Uniroyal site on East Jefferson to determine which of them or their predecessors is responsible for pockets of subsurface contamination that have been found under the western two-thirds of the 40-acre site.
 The two firms are B.F. Goodrich/Uniroyal, which operated a tire manufacturing facility on the site from 1941 through 1978, and Michigan Consolidated Gas, which once owned the western portion of the site and operated a coal gasification plant there.
 The city acquired the land from the Uniroyal Tire Company in 1981 after the company had closed down its tire manufacturing operations there. The only activity on the site since the city purchased it has been the demolition of the old tire factory. Following demolition, the unpaved portion of the lot was covered with two feet of soil cover. The contamination is located beneath that soil cover.
 "We will be conducting further tests to determine more precisely the nature and extent of any contamination that exists on this site," the mayor said. "We also will work aggressively to determine who is responsible for any contamination and to apportion the liability for cleanup to those responsible."
 The mayor said the city has been conferring with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources regarding the site. The DNR notified the city, B.F. Goodrich/Uniroyal and Michigan Consolidated Gas this week that the Uniroyal site will be included on the list of sites of environmental contamination which it publishes annually.
 Tests of subsurface soil on the western portion of the site have revealed several contaminants historically associated with industrial activity, such as fuel oil and gasoline, other petroleum byproducts, carbon disulfide, and some heavy metals. The subsurface contaminants pose no risk to people who may pass over the land. The site is presently vacant and the city has discouraged trespassers.
 The mayor said the eastern one-third of the Uniroyal site has been a paved parking lot for decades and that tests in that area found no contamination. The paved area has been used for parking each year during the hydroplane races and will be used for parking for this year's Detroit Grand Prix.
 The materials found below the surface of the western two-thirds of the site are at spots where underground tanks had been buried or where industrial operations had leaked contaminants into the soil. While they pose no immediate threat to passersby, the sites will have to be cleaned up before the city can pursue long-range plans to redevelop the site for residential and commercial use.
 From 1917 through 1941, the middle section of the site was owned by the U.S. Rubber Company, Uniroyal's predecessor. Prior to ownership of the western portion of the site by Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., it was owned by the Champion Fuel Company and the Detroit United Railway.
 -0- 4/3/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Berg of the mayor's office, 313-224-1544/ CO: City of Detroit ST: Michigan IN: SU:


SB-JG -- DE021 -- 4969 04/03/92 15:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 3, 1992
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