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City of Dearborn files lawsuit against scrap yard over hazardous air pollution violations

City of Dearborn files lawsuit against scrap yard over hazardous air pollution violations
City of Dearborn files lawsuit against scrap yard over hazardous air pollution violations 02:01

DEARBORN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - If you drive down Wyoming Avenue in Dearborn's south end, you'll find dirty roads and dusty sidewalks. A lawsuit filed by Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud Tuesday alleges that a lot of it stems from a local scrap yard.

"What we really want to see is see a business come with compliance and if they cannot come into compliance, they can shut down," Hammoud says.

The complaint states Pro V Enterprises is operating illegally and is responsible for being flagged 16 times for violating city ordinances including the city's fugitive dust policy.

"I can't tell you how many videos I get on daily basis of residents driving along Wyoming and their car is being covered with all the soot and track out from them driving right alongside that property," Hammoud says.

Dearborn Department of Public Health Director Ali Abazeed says fugitive dust can be extremely harmful to residents.

"Fugitive dust is especially pernicious because it is a form of mobile sourced pollution that tracks into the neighborhoods and proliferates into the neighborhoods. It's no longer stuck in one location. When those industrial trucks are driving into those communities that are also spreading pollution into those communities, they have devastating consequences on respiratory health, asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and bronchitis," Abazeed says.

After reaching out to Pro V Enterprises about the lawsuit, they provided CBS News Detroit with the following statement: 

"We are aware of the concerns raised by the municipality regarding fugitive dust. Our company takes environmental responsibility very seriously and is committed to addressing this issue in a responsible and swift manner.

To that end, we have already taken proactive measures to minimize fugitive dust. We have invested in rumble strips to help contain dust on our trucks, and have contracted with street sweepers to clean the surrounding areas on a regular basis. Additionally, we have a large capital improvement plan in place to pour concrete to further minimize the risk of fugitive dust.

We are working closely with the relevant authorities to investigate and address the concerns raised. We value our relationship with the community and will continue to work with the municipality to ensure that we operate in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. We are confident that, together, we can find a solution that balances environmental protection and the needs of our business."

When asked about other plants and factories that affect the air quality of the community, Hammoud says what separates Pro V from the rest is its illegal operation and complaints. 

"I mean for me, it is a business currently operating without a CFO (Chief Operating Officer) that has received 16 violations and has been cited numerous times. 

While he is aware of Pro V Enterprises' most recent response to the lawsuit, Hammoud says he wants to see change.

"Words on paper are one thing but action is totally separate. And that is what we are waiting for. We are waiting for action," Hammoud says.

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