EQ Resource Recovery

Romulus, MI - Region V

Site Contact:

Jon Gulch
On-Scene Coordinator


36345 Van Born Road
Romulus, MI 48174

Latitude: 42.2654150
Longitude: -83.3955830
NRC#: 768535

The Michigan Department of Community Health Consultation is now available at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/EQResourceRecoveryHC030106_153643_7.pdf

The fact sheet is now online at:

Reports and Laboratory Analytical Data are available at the Romulus Public Library Located at 11121 Wayne Road, Romulus, Michigan.

Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday Closed
Saturday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday Closed

And at the Wayne Public Library, 3737 S. Wayne Road, Wayne, Michigan 48184

Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Tuesday, August 9, about 9:15 PM, a large fire erupted at EQ Resource Recovery Inc., a licensed hazardous waste facility located at 36345 Van Born Road in Romulus, Michigan (Latitude 42.1581 & Longitude -83.2388). The Incident Command and the EPA Command Post are now located at the EQ Facility on Van Born Avenue. The facility has approximately fifty (50) above-ground storage tanks ranging in sizes up to 15,000 gallons, of which thirty-two (32) were impacted by the fire/explosion. In addition, a propylene glycol re-boiler and a drum pad with overhead canopy and approximately four-hundred (400) drums of various products were destroyed. Multiple fire departments with more than one-hundred (100) firefighters responded, with Incident Command (IC) established by the Romulus Fire Chief. Due to the intensity of the fire and the nature of the material involved, approximately twelve-hundred (1,200) homes, as well as GM and Ford Motor Company manufacturing facilities, were evacuated in the Cities of Romulus and Wayne. Shelters were set up at the two Romulus area high schools and a church hall.

On August 9, the US EPA ASPECT system was requested to collect airborne infrared (IR) images and data over the site. The ASPECT system is an emergency response aircraft permitting remote chemical detection in support of the first responder. The system is based out of the Midway Regional Airport located near Waxahachie, Texas. The system consists of an airborne high speed Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) couple with a wide-area IR line scanner. On August 10, at approximatly 0600, the ASPECT system made its first pass over the Site and provided information to the OSC.

Preliminary air samples collected in the fire smoke plume and analyzed by the EPA-ERT Trace Atmosphere Gas Analyzer (TAGA) unit did not show elevated levels of hazardous materials, as determined by ATSDR, Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), and the Wayne County Health Department (WCHD). In addition, six wipe samples were collected and sent to the EPA-ERT laboratory and analyzed for base/neutral/acid compounds (BNAs). After reviewing the analytical results from the first six wipe samples collected, the health agencies determined that the chemical concentrations were below health concern levels, and the residents were allowed to return to their homes.

Continuous air monitoring of the perimeter of the facility and in the neighborhood downwind of the facility was conducted utilizing Area Raes, which were monitoring for VOCs, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and lower explosive limit. U.S. EPA START and REAC contractors continued investigating the residential area impacted by the plume by collecting four wipe samples from twenty residential properties, two from the upwind and downwind side facing the fire. The EPA-ERT laboratory analyzed the wipe forty samples (with additional samples for field and laboratory blanks) for BNAs and metals. Laboratory results were shared with the health agencies, which determined that levels were below health concern.

For additional information, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) section.