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Protesters Call For Huron River Polluters To Pay Up

(CBS DETROIT) - The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) issued multiple violation notices to a Wixom company responsible for a chemical spill that threatened the Huron River system.

"There is no reason, no reason that an irresponsible polluter that has no regard for human life should be allowed to continue to operate full stop," said Rep. Yousef Rabhi.

"Shut them down!"

Wednesday, Hundreds of environmental activist rallied outside Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental in Milford.

Shop owners say they lost 70% of business in the last week since hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, was spilled in the Huron River.

Tribar Technologies, a manufacturing company, is accused of contamination the water.

Now, protesters are demanding for state regulators to issue fines and for legislators to create tougher pollution laws.

"We know that instances of contamination like this one not only impacts the river's ecosystem, but in a larger sense they impact the reputation of our water," said Clean Water Action Michigan Policy Director Sean McBrearty.

"A reputation that so many good local businesses, like the canoe and kayak businesses here with us today, rely on for business."

EGLE's Water Resources Division cited Tribar for violations including:

  • Failing to immediately notify EGLE immediately after discovering the discharge as required under the law and their industrial user discharge permit.
  • Sending an unauthorized discharge of pollutants to the wastewater treatment facility that resulted in interference to the treatment process, violating pretreatment rules in the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA).
  • Failure to maintain a properly updated Pollution Incident Prevention Plan (PIPP) and failing to certify compliance with NREPA rules regarding spillage of oil and polluting materials.

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