Detroit Waste Incineration Facility Air Pollution Abatement (2014)

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Michigan AG brought enforcement action against waste management companies to reduce foul odor emanating from the United States’ largest waste incineration facility.

Citation: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality v. Michigan Waste Energy, Inc. and Detroit Renewable Power, LLC, No 1184CE (Mich. Cir. 2014)

Topic: Air Pollution, Environmental Justice

Type of action: Lawsuit v. Private Actor

States involved: Michigan

Summary: Michigan Waste Energy, Inc. and Detroit Renewable Power LLC operate America’s largest waste incineration facility, located in Midtown Detroit. Every summer the state receives many complaints from local residents of the severe odor coming from the facility. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality conducted an investigation and found that the facility was violating Rule 901 of Michigan’s Air Pollution Control Rules by emitting the foul odor. They subsequently filed an enforcement action against Michigan Waste Energy and Detroit Renewable Power. The two companies have since entered into a settlement agreement with the state whereby they will pay $350,000 in penalties for past violations and reengineer their air ducting system to eliminate the smell within two years.

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