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Kelley v. Hooker Chems. & Plastics Corp.

Citation: 11 ELR 20081
No. No. 79-22878, (Mich. Cir. Ct., 10/30/1979)

The court approves a consent judgment enjoining Hooker Chemicals & Plastics Corp. from further disposal of toxic substances at its manufacturing facility in Montague, Michigan and requiring Hooker to pay civil penalties and monetary damages to the State of Michigan for injuries caused by the contamination of local groundwaters. The judgment also requires Hooker to remove and place all industrial and surface wastes in clay-lined vaults. Prior to the construction of the vaults, all plans must be approved by the Director of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). During construction, prescribed air quality standards must be maintained. Further, Hooker must provide evidence of marketable title to the property containin the vaults, including a 300-foot buffer zone on all sides of the site. Restrictions forbidding excavation, construction, and other activity in or around the vaults are binding upon all present and future holders of property interests and must be recorded in the property's deed and filed with the county registrar of deeds.The on-site facility that formerly produced toxic chemicals at the site must be completely dismantled and decontaminated within 36 months of the date of the judgment, unless performance is excusably delayed. Hooker further consents to drill and operate purge wells to halt the flow of contaminated groundwater into Lake White. Should residential or municipal wells in or around the contaminated groundwater contain water unfit for consumption, defendant must provide a potable water supply. Hooker must also undertake a study of dioxin contamination at the site. Defendant further agrees to pay a $1 million fine to the State of Michigan, which will release it from all claims relating to liability from the contaminated areas. Finally, DNR retains authority to enter and inspect all Hooker property until work is completed. The court retains jurisdiction over this case to enforce the judgment until December 31, 2030.

[Pleadings filed in this matter are summarized at ELR PEND. LIT. 65617. See also, Trauberman, Dunwoody & Horne, Compensation for Toxic Substances Pollution: Michigan Case Study, 10 ELR 50021 (Sept. 1980) — Ed.]

The full text of the consent decree is available from ELR (44 pp. $6.00, ELR Order No. C-1235).

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General; Stewart H. Freeman, Ass't Attorney General; Thomas J. Emery, Thomas F. Schimpf, Gregory T. Taylor, Ass't Attorneys General
Environmental Protection Division
720 Law Bldg., Lansing MI 48913
(517) 373-7780

Counsel for Defendant
William F. McNally
Landman, Hathaway, Latimer, Clink & Robb
400 Terrace Plaza, P.O. Box 29, Muskegon MI 49443
(616) 722-2671

Harrison, J.

[OPINION OMITTED BY PUBLISHER IN ORIGINAL SOURCE]