Statement regarding Detroit Blight Removal Program

From Brian Farkas, Director of Special Projects - Detroit Building Authority

Public health and safety have been our top priorities since the earliest days of the city’s demolition program. We require that every demolition hole be filled with clean dirt from an approved source and we implemented protocols to verify the origin of the backfill.

Every demolition site where the backfill was found to be from an unapproved source either was subsequently determined to be within MDEQ guidelines or removed and replaced with approved backfill that meets MDEQ requirements.

We continually strive to improve our environmental controls. Detroit Building Authority Field Liaisons monitor demolition sites to ensure contract compliance, primarily public health and safety requirements.

Detroit’s demolition team has worked closely with SIGTARP and the City’s Inspector General on the contractor investigation and continues to do so. We welcome the opportunity to address concerns expressed by Rep. Lawrence and Rep. Tlaib. We will be reaching out to their offices in the near future to set up a tour of the demolition program to help them better understand our thorough environmental safety measures.