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    Benzene undetected or in ‘trace amounts’ in Flat Rock sewers, state says


    The benzene leak from a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant that pushed some residents in Flat Rock from their homes can no longer be detected in some parts of the sewer system and there are only “trace amounts” in other pats, state officials said Tuesday.

    Testing shows that the leak that happened last week has now resulted in no detectable fumes in parts of the sewer system, which is separate from Flat Rock’s drinking water system, said Jill Greenberg, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.  

    But in other parts of the sewer system, there “trace amounts” of benzene that are well below the levels that are considered to be a “flammable risk,” she said Tuesday, amending an initial statement.

    “Ford is conducting an investigation on-site with EPA oversight” to figure out why the line failed, Greenberg said.

    Ford officials plugged the leaking line at various points and then applied firefighting foam that does not contain PFAS that suppressed the benzene vapors, environmental officials said. Sewers have been and continue to be flushed, EGLE spokesman Hugh McDiarmid said Tuesday.

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