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E-M:/ Ecology Center Lawsuit on Holnam Cement, Milan

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Forwarded delayed bounced message.....

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 08:42:25 -0400
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
From: jeffg@ecocenter.org (jeff gearhart)


        The Ecology Center announced today that they have sent a "Notice of
Intent to Sue" letter to Holnam, Inc., which operates two cement kilns in
Dundee, Michigan, 20 miles south of Ann Arbor. Holnam Inc, annually emits
over 12 million pounds (12,670,300 pounds in 1997) of toxic volatile
organic chemicals (VOCs) into the air, and has never reported these
emissions under federal Community Right to Know laws. In addition, Holnam
failed to accurately report emissions of several criteria pollutants,
including VOCs, from 1990 through 1996. The failure to file annual emission
reports constitutes a violation of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) and
Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know Acts (EPCRA).

        Toxic Release Inventory reportable VOCs exhibit a wide range of
toxic properties and are potent greenhouse gases. Moreover, these compounds
combine with nitrogen oxides to form highly toxic ozone under favorable
sunlight conditions. The Ecology Center has also asked the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) to begin enforcement actions against Holnam to force them to
comply with the federal SARA Title III and Clean Air Act reporting

        The Ecology Center requested in the letter that Holnam Inc. within
the next sixty (60) days correct all omissions, and submit an accurate and
complete Toxic Release Inventory forms for the years 1987-1997. In addition
the Ecology Center request that Holnam Inc. fulfills the statutory
reporting requirements for criteria air pollutants as promulgated in the
federal Clean Air Act. Federal law requires that companies are given 60
days to comply, prior to the initiation of legal action

        The Ecology Center sent the notice after discussions with Holnam,
the Michigan DEQ and Region V EPA failed to produce an agreement to report
the emissions.

        In 1991, the Ecology Center filed a similar EPCRA lawsuit against
Johnson Controls (currently Woodbridge Corporation).  The alleged
violations involved storage and release of various chemicals at the
companies Whitemore Lake facility which makes automotive seat cushions. The
Ecology Center successfully settled the lawsuit in 1996 resulting in
modernization of equipment and the elimination of the use of the solvent
methylene chloride, a persistent toxic substance and probable human

        The Ecology Center is a nonprofit environmental organization
founded in 1970, which provides citizen action and environmental education
programs to improve the environment in SE Michigan.

        Copies of the Notice of Intent letter are available upon request.

Jeff Gearhart        *note new area code
Ecology Center of Ann Arbor
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
(723)663-2414 fx.

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