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EPA 2006 enforcement highlights for Michigan

Release Date: 11/16/2006
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218,

No. 06-OPA213

CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today announced that its enforcement actions in Michigan in 2006 have caused regulated entities to pay more than $16.5 million to correct environmental violations and help prevent future ones.

In the past fiscal year in Michigan, EPA took 47 actions against regulated entities; assessed $1.5 million in civil penalties for numerous air, water, hazardous waste, community right-to-know and pesticide violations; and initiated 32 new cases. As part of settlement agreements, Michigan companies agreed to do five supplemental environmental projects worth about $247,000.

"Complying with the law is key to ensuring that public health and the environment are protected," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "We and our partners at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality are committed to ensuring cleaner air, water and land for the people of Michigan."

Among the most notable settlements in Michigan were with S.D. Warren and Bay-Houston Towing Co.:

  • S.D. Warren, owner of a pulp mill in Muskegon doing business as SAPPI Fine Paper North America, agreed to pay a $586,106 penalty for air pollution violations. It has since deactivated its recovery furnace, eliminating a source of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions.
  • Bay-Houston Towing Co. agreed to resolve a long-standing case involving wetlands violations by obtaining a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue limited peat mining in Minden Bog in Sanilac County and undertake the most extensive peat bog restoration in the United States. The company also agreed to immediately donate 1,182 acres of high quality bog to Michigan Department of Natural Resources and to donate the entire 2,816 acre property to the state in the future.

Region 5 coordinates with state environmental agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to enforce environmental laws. State agencies also have authority to pursue their own enforcement actions. Region-wide, federal enforcement actions this year alone resulted in:
  • 145,358,476 pounds of pollutants reduced
  • 535,385 cubic yards of contaminated soil cleaned up
  • 23 million cubic yards of water and 5,740 linear feet of streams restored
  • 2,368 acres of wetlands protected

For more information about the Region's enforcement program go to
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