EGLE approves US Ecology’s Detroit North facility expansion

EGLE approves US Ecology’s Detroit North facility expansion

The hazardous waste management facility’s license renewal and expansion has been under review since 2015.

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February 12, 2020

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) reissued a license renewal and expansion in January to Boise, Idaho-based US Ecology’s Detroit North hazardous waste management facility.

The license allows US Ecology to continue existing operations, construct and operate two new buildings for storage and treatment and repurpose an existing building at its Detroit facility; however, changes made to the license, as a result of feedback from several public comment periods, limit the volume of hazardous waste that can be stored and treated at the facility as well as daily hazardous waste deliveries to the facility.

Under the renewed license, the container storage capacity increased from 53,118 gallons to 500,739 gallons, and US Ecology is authorized to increase its solid hazardous waste treatment operations to 600 tons per day. No waste would be permitted to remain in storage permanently at the facility.

US Ecology submitted a renewal license application in 2007, one year before its existing license expired, and a revised application in 2012, which proposed to expand and enlarge the facility to manage a greater amount of hazardous waste. EGLE says the facility, which was established in 1930, has been allowed to continue operations under its original license, which was issued in 1998, until a final determination was made on the new application. The department made a draft license and offered the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed expansion in 2015. The department extended the public comment period twice. Following these events, the license application went under further review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EGLE from 2015 to 2018, especially for Waste Analysis Plan (WAP) modifications, EGLE says.

On reissuing the 10-year license, EGLE says, “The facility does not, at this time, present a hazard to human health or the environment, based on a review of the application; compliance inspections conducted by EGLE staff; ambient air monitoring; and effluent discharge monitoring conducted by USE in compliance with EGLE and the Great Lakes Water Authority, formerly the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.”

The facility accepts waste generated during steel finishing, electroplating and chemical manufacturing, as well as household hazardous waste. The U.S. Ecology facility is one of 14 hazardous waste treatment storage and disposal facilities across Michigan. Together, these facilities provide treatment, storage and disposal options to commercial, industrial and municipal hazardous waste generators.