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Group calls for stricter legislation after two hazardous spills in Metro Detroit

Michigan group calls for stricter legislation after two hazardous spills
Michigan group calls for stricter legislation after two hazardous spills 02:11

(CBS DETROIT) - Environmental advocates and residents across Metro Detroit are calling on Michigan lawmakers to get tougher on polluters. 

During a news conference on Thursday, the Sierra Group, along with local officials, want lawmakers to pass a package of bills referred to as Polluter Pay Laws to crack down on those who pollute the environment and ignore cleaning up toxic spills. 

The action was prompted after two separate incidents involving toxic spills in Metro Detroit, one in Warren and one in Trenton. 

In Warren, an electroplating company on Mound called Fini-finish Plating was found to be the source of a chemical spill into Bear Creek River this week. Officials discovered what appeared to be a burst pipe as the source of the spill. 

A corrosive ooze was discovered to be coming to the surface at the site of the old McLouth Steel, which is located near the border of Riverview and Trenton. 

"We do not have strong enough laws requiring polluters to clean up their toxic waste, so they don't," said Christy McGillivray with the Sierra Club. 

The group is asking lawmakers to enact legislation that would give more legal authority to regulatory agencies to go after polluters. 

Hal Newman, a Warren City Councilman, said agencies need more power to go after companies even if they have been closed or moved. 

"I care very deeply about sustainability, and in this case, we can't even get companies not to pollute much less get accountability," Newman said. 

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