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Michigan v. Allen Park, City of

Citation: 14 ELR 20237
No. Nos. 79-74681 et al., 573 F. Supp. 1481/19 ERC 2153/(E.D. Mich., 11/21/1983) Petition to modify injunction denied

The court refuses to modify an injunction ordering the City of Allen Park to adopt water pollution abatement measures, holding that respect for final judgments and the need to avoid delay outweigh any financial hardship the may cause the city. In 1980, following prolonged litigation, the court ordered the city to implement a plan approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce water pollution from the city's sewer system, 11 ELR 21023, affirmed, 11 ELR 21057. In consolidated cases, the city and a homeowners' group now request that the court modify the injunction to allow the city to implement less expensive measures not endorsed by EPA. The court first addresses the homeowners' suit, in a note, holding that once a city has litigated an issue, its citizens are bound by the decision and may not bring suits as individuals on the same issue. The court then rules that while it has the power to modify injunctions, it may only do so in extraordinary circumstances. It holds that studies conducted by the city that document less expensive means to control pollution do not constitute previously unavailable information nor do they establish extreme and unexpected hardship for the city justifying modification. EPA cannot guarantee public funding for the city's alternative and the public interest in clean water argues against allowing the city to further delay cleanup. On motion by some of the defendants, the court enjoins all parties from participating in any litigation or administrative proceeding that would delay compliance with the injunction.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Stephen F. Schuesler, Ass't Attorney General
Environmental Protection Division
Law Bldg., Lansing MI 48913
(517) 373-1110

Harry S. Ellman
Suite 1444, 3000 Town Ctr., Southfield MI 48075
(313) 352-8828

Abba I. Friedman, Laurence A. Berg
Hyman, Gurwin, Nachman, Friedman & Winkelman
16th Floor, 17117 W. Nine Mile Rd., Southfield MI 48075
(313) 559-7500

counsel for Defendants
Michael H. Feiler
32969 Hamilton Ct., Farmington Hills MI 48018
(313) 553-9300

Jeffrey A. Supowit
Wayne Cty. Drain Commissioner's Office
900 W. Lafayette St., Detroit MI 48226
(313) 224-5577

Karl R. Overman, Ass't U.S. Attorney
817 Fed. Bldg., 231 W. Lafayette St., Detroit MI 48226
(313) 226-7715

Bond Counsel
Charles R. Moon
Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman
800 First Nat'l Bldg., Detroit MI 48226
(313) 223-3500