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E-M:/ pollution calls to deq hotline

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

An intern recently reviewed the quarterly report of calls received by the
DEQ's Pollution Emergency Alert System.  Here are his findings.

	Here are some interesting facts from the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality's Pollution Emergency Alerting System.  These
incidents occurred between January 1, 1999 and March 31, 1999.  They are
broken down into number of complaints by county and multiple complaints in
individual cities. During this period, DEQ received 269 complaints.
	These complaints vary in degree.  Some report seeing violators red-handed,
some find areas of pollution like oil slicks.  Others report overflows at
gas stations and still others are accidents that result in spills of
contaminants. Some complaints deal with some sort of petrochemical spill,
caused by automobile accidents.
	Many reports indicate intentional dumping.  For example, in Macomb County
it was reported someone was pushing old cars and other debris into a nearby
river while clearing a lot.  Another intentional violation reported was in
Wayne County. Someone was emptying an underground storage tank without a
permit, using a garden hose and pumping contents of the tank into the
sewer. Another example in Wayne County was at the corner of Grand River and
Farmer.  Someone reported a demolition company was dumping hundreds of
gallons of chemicals into drains.  The substance was green in color and
smelled like chemicals. 
	Many complaints were logged from Alpena.  All have to do with foul
smelling air.  Some compare the smell to rotten eggs, burnt peanuts, burned
wood, and sulfur.  Others said the smell is nauseating and one said it
should not be breathed by humans because "it burns his nose."  One
complainant wondered if the DEQ is ever going to do anything about this
	The greatest number of complaints per county are as follows.
1. Wayne-43
2. Oakland-22
3. Alpena-18
4. Muskegon-14
4. Macomb-14
4. Allegan-14
	The greatest number of complaints per city are as follows. 
1. Alpena-18
2. Detroit-16
3. Muskegon-9
4. Warren-6
4. Plainwell-6
4. Midland-6

Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
517-487-9541 (fax)

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