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Anglers of the AuSable, Inc. v. Department of Environmental Quality

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20172
Nos. Nos. 138863 et al, (Mich., 04/25/2011) Vacated

The Michigan Supreme Court vacated its previous decision at 41 ELR 20056 in which it held that a company's plan to discharge contaminated water from an environmental cleanup site in the Manistee River watershed into a previously unpolluted site in the AuSable River watershed was manifestly unreasonable and that the state agency should be held accountable under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act for permitting the discharge. The very harms that plaintiffs sought to enjoin no longer exist. The company has quit-claimed its easement interest back to the riparian owner, no longer has the physical means of discharging water into the watershed, is now disposing of the water by alternative means, and no longer has a permit that allows discharge into the watershed. In addition, the state agency has attested that “there no longer exists the possibility of surface water discharge" to the watershed. Accordingly, the case is moot.