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Statement in response to Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s concerns about Detroit’s demolition program
There is no basis for any suggestion that there was use of contaminated soil to fill holes for abandoned houses in Detroit.
When congresswoman Lawrence made her initial request for a federal review, there was an allegation that a contractor, DMC, used soil from an unauthorized source for 70 sites. We required that independent testing be done and, in April, the soil on all 70 sites was shown to be in full compliance with MDEQ regulations.
There was an allegation at the time that 4 other contractors (Bluestar, Salenbein, Homrich, and Gayanga) may have left basement materials in the soil on sites it worked. Independent testing overseen by the state of Michigan through MSHDA tested 53 sites for those contractors. All 53 of those sites were found to have been properly excavated and the concerns unfounded.
In short, since Congresswoman Lawrence first raised the issue, 123 sites have been tested and all 123 have been found in full compliance with environmental regulations.
The city has fully cooperated with the federal agency SIGTARP in a comprehensive review since February, but at this point, there is absolutely no evidence to support any claim of widespread soil contamination.
Director, Detroit Building Authority