Legislators urge MDEQ to take action to protect public health
TRENTON — This week, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) issued a violation notice to 21st Century Salvage & Next Generation Environmental Inc. and Crown Enterprises Inc. & MSC Land Co., LLC for four violations of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants in their demolition and abatement of the McLouth Steel facility in Trenton.
“Proper cleanup of the McLouth Steel Facility is critical to the public health of our community,” said state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township). “While it’s deeply frustrating that problems are arising so quickly in this demolition process, I’m glad the MDEQ inspected the site and sounded the alarm. I will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that these companies are held liable for any damages to our community.”
21st Century Salvage & Next Generation Environmental Inc. was the operator conducting the demolition and abatement activities, while Crown Enterprises, Inc. & MSC Land Co., LLC is the property owner of the site. According to the MDEQ’s notice, the National Emission Standard for Asbestos holds both the owner and operator liable for all violations. DEQ inspection of the McLouth site revealed visible asbestos emissions as a result of failure to follow at least three mandated abatement procedures.
“It’s very important for property owners to properly inspect and remove asbestos before demolition,” said Nick Leonard, Executive Director at the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. “It’s equally as important for the DEQ to vigorously enforce asbestos inspection and removal regulations to ensure contractors do not cut corners. Otherwise, demolition workers and people living nearby may be exposed to hazardous levels of asbestos that can cause serious respiratory problems, as well as cancer.”
“Michigan’s asbestos laws are clear. There’s no excuse to expose employees and Downriver residents to this toxic substance, not to mention potentially contaminating the Detroit River,” state Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) said. “I am glad to see the MDEQ on the case so quickly. Rep. Camilleri and I will monitor this situation closely and advocate strongly to all parties involved to ensure the state holds corporate polluters accountable when the health of our residents are at risk.”
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