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Town hall draws 350+ Nonprofit filing Intent To Sue

WWJ covered the landfill town hall, as did many other media outlets

Over 350 concerned residents attended the Arbor Hills Landfill Town Hall hosted by Sen. Dayna Polehanki and Rep. Matt Koleszar. The Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality sent specialists to quell residents’ health concerns regarding issues with asbestos, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and the recent ‘fire’ at Arbor Hills Landfill in Washtenaw County.

The Conservancy Initiative president, Tracey Birkenhauer, announced the nonprofit is filing an intent to sue Advanced Disposal Services and Fortistar Methane Group for violations of the Clean Air Act. This drew massive applause and helped to break up the monotonous event.

View the Intent To Sue

Scott Miller, MDEQ air quality supervisor, said air quality tests conducted at the landfill are evaluated for methane, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds, in an effort to help reduce potential hazardous air odors and to bring the landfill within compliance of state and federal regulations.

“Based on the data collected, health based air standards are being met offsite,” Miller said. “Regular testing of emissions from the landfill flares and gas-to-energy turbine plant is also occurring. Those violations will be resolved in the Escalated Enforcement Action MDEQ has taken with Advanced Disposal Services.”

The MDEQ has admitted they have never conducted a study to determine health effects for prolonged exposure. They also have never investigated the health effects from the cocktail of multiple pollutants, emissions and particulates in the air. Notice how they never discuss water and soil testing or contamination, which are valid concerns, especially at nearby Ridge Wood Elementary and Salem Elementary.

Attendees were disappointed and many were infuriated with the format that forced them to write questions on cards. Attendees were not allowed to speak during the event. Those who tried to shout questions or comments were silenced.

An MDEQ moderator read some of the questions but most went unanswered. The event was scheduled for an hour and a half. The MDEQ was given a half hour of that time for a presentation.

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