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AG Nessel Celebrates Earth Day With A Recap of Departments Environmental Work

AG Nessel Celebrates Earth Day With A Recap of Departments Environmental Work

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reflecting on the important work done by her Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture (ENRA) Division as Earth Day brings added focus on ways to protect the planet and our natural resources. 

“Each Earth Day we must take pause and reflect on the role we all play in protecting our environment,” Nessel said. “Our natural resources remain some of the most precious aspects of this state, and as long as I’m Michigan Attorney General, I will fight to protect them. I am proud to be associated with the ENRA Division for the dedication of its public servants. Their dedication to defending Michigan’s resources extends well beyond April 22 every year.” 

Current and ongoing cases that focus on protecting the environment include: 

  • Enbridge: AG Nessel is continuing her fight to shut down the Line 5 oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac that pose a grave threat to Michigan’s environment and economy. This includes moving to get her lawsuit, Nessel v. Enbridge Energy, back to state court where it belongs, and to dismiss Enbridge’s lawsuit challenging Governor Whitmer’s revocation and termination of the 1953 Easement that Enbridge depends on. 
  • PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl substances and Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances).AG Nessel is a leader in actions to hold PFAS polluters and manufacturers accountable for PFAS contamination. Nessel was one of the first attorneys general to bring legal action against 3M, DuPont and other manufacturers of PFAS. Nessel v. Asahi Plastics North America (Livingston County Circuit Court) is another case. Despite repeated requests for delays, the defendant is expected to appear in court sometime in 2022. This will be the first PFAS-related trial in the state. The office has also joined forces with other attorneys general in pressing on PFAS issues at the federal level, most recently urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use current-year funding to fully support initiatives identified in EPA’s “PFAS Roadmap”.  
  • Arbor Hills Landfill Settlement Following more than a year of negotiations, AG Nessel and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark announced a successful settlement agreement with the owner and operator of the Arbor Hills Landfill in Salem Township. The settlement includes environmentally beneficial projects as well as fines of more than $2.3million. Other key components of this agreement include a network to monitor the landfill perimeter to detect methane and hydrogen sulfide emissions and reduce them to below levels that might cause nuisances.  
  • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, (CAFOs),:To protect Michigan waters from pollution from factory farms, civil actions against CAFOs can be filed. Most recently, Nessel filed an action against a CAFO in Calhoun County related to its longstanding and repeated failures to meet permit requirements, resulting in ongoing pollution of surface and ground waters. Previously a settlement with Slater Farms was announced in which the company accepted additional oversight and permit conditions related to waste storage, management, and disposal, as well as $120,000 in civil fines. 
  • Morrow Dam After repeated attempts to urge sediment cleanup and natural resource restoration, Nessel filed suit on behalf of EGLE and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) related to Morrow Lake and Dam in Kalamazoo County. The action – now pending against STS Hydropower, LLC, and Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, LLC – was filed due to the companies’ grossly mismanaged drawdown of the lake to complete repairs of their dam on the Kalamazoo River. The lawsuit seeks to restore these important ecosystems as well as to compensate the public in respect of the damage done to the natural resources. 
  • Multistate actions to preserve water resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and promote water conservation: 


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