Investigators seek source of Red Run petroleum discharge

By: Brian Louwers | Online Only | Published May 6, 2013

WARREN – An investigation continued May 6 into the source of an apparent petroleum product discharge affecting areas of the Red Run in Warren, Sterling Heights and Clinton Township.

Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams said Warren fire crews were sent to the scene of an oily sheen on the Red Run near 14 Mile and Hoover at 7:22 p.m. May 2.

McAdams said two oil collection booms had already been deployed by that time in the Red Run in Sterling Heights. He said Warren firefighters deployed two more booms, and that Clinton Township firefighters reportedly set up another when the discharge reached a span of the Red Run there early May 6.

McAdams said the discharge was first reported at about 4:22 p.m. May 2 in a section of the Red Run in Sterling Heights.

The investigation is a collaborative effort among local police and firefighters, employees at Warren’s Waste Water Treatment Plant and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Although the source of the discharge remained undetermined May 6, McAdams said the material was apparently discharged somewhere within the city of Warren.

“The reports I have indicate there was approximately five to 50 gallons of petroleum product (released),” McAdams said. “Samples were taken for analysis both independently and by the DEQ.

“We have no indication that it was a municipal release, and actually wastewater has been ruled out as a source of the contamination,” McAdams said. “This was either an illegal hookup or an intentional dumping somewhere in Warren.”

Clinton Township Deputy Fire Chief Mike Phy said the section in Clinton Township is a strategic point for clean-up efforts since it is the last section before the drain intersects with the Clinton River.

Anyone with information about the release can contact the Warren Police Department at (586) 574-4700.

Staff writer Nico Rubello contributed to this report.