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E-M:/ Kolke settlement crumbles

State backs out on agreement
GAYLORD — State officials reneged on a settlement with a conservation group and riparian property owners in a case that involves a northern Michigan stream and an energy company's plan to dump wastewater into it.

Judge Dennis Murphy, of the 46th Circuit Trial Court, ruled against the state and Merit, saying their discharge plan would permanently alter and be detrimental to the environment. He later awarded $155,000 in expert witness fees to the plaintiffs.

Now the state and Merit are appealing the judge's ruling and backing out of the $125,000 settlement, negotiated just last week. Both filed appeal claims with the Michigan Court of Appeals on Monday.

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