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E-M:/ Pollution violation draws fine, limit hike

Pollution violation draws fine, limit hike


Note the first four paragraphs of the story.

The state agency responsible for enforcing environmental laws is cracking down on a local polluter while letting it pollute even more.

For at least the last four years, state officials say Brunswick Bowling and Billiards Corp. has had volatile organic compound emissions that have been almost four times the allowable limits at its Laketon Avenue plant.

As part of a compliance agreement with Brunswick that includes fines, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is poised to grant the company air-use permits which could allow emissions up to seven times higher than the previous limits.

DEQ officials said Brunswick asked for an increase in their air emissions limits, and state scientists said the higher limits are safe. For violating the lower limits, Brunswick must pay a $76,500 fine in three installments by Jan. 15, 2004.

Did I read this right?  If we get caught violating 4X the limit then we only need to pay a fine (or bribe?) and then it is okay to pollute 7X the limit and call that safe?  Duh.