Former Buick City site getting cleaned, prepped for redevelopment

Turning the former Buick City site in Flint into a vibrant hub of economy is beginning with cleanup.
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 11:01 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Turning the former Buick City site in Flint into a vibrant hub of economy is beginning with cleanup.

“There’s been a lot of work done at the site in terms of remediating a lot of the PFAS that was entering the river and finding out just the full scope of contamination on the site so that work can be done to come up with a final remediation plan to address the remaining contamination,” said Liz Browne, the division director for the materials management division at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

EGLE explained what is happening to prep the site for redevelopment.

The Racer Trust is working to clean up forever chemicals called PFAS, which recently were found at the site. This is all in an effort to sell more than 290 acres of the property to be developed into the Flint Commerce Center.

“We are working very closely with the Racer Trust folks in terms of remediation at the site, but we’re also working with the Flint Commerce Group that is doing redevelopment to assure that any redevelopment that they want to do is continuing to keep protected at the site,” Browne said.

Browne spoke about protections against contamination and developers’ roles in ensuring safety.

That drew concern from a resident, who asked about the potential removal of concrete slabs and stirring up contamination as a result.

“EGLE does not dictate what happens after that. That’s up to the new property owner, how they want to redevelop it. As long as they do not impact remedies, in this case concrete slabs, if they want to remove it, you need to tell us what you’re going to do to replace or improve that remedy. You cannot make it any worse than what it is right now,” said another presenter from EGLE.

Other additional corrective measures being considered for onsite contamination include soil consolidation, groundwater treatment, and sewer bulkheading to prevent contamination from spreading.

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