City of Ann Arbor seeks to intervene in EGLE/Gelman consent judgment
The City of Ann Arbor is beefing up its legal efforts to take on various court battles in matters related to Gelman Sciences 1,4 toxic dioxane plume.
City attorney Atleen Kaur says they will ask the city council on Monday to increase funding for legal contracting services with Bodman, PLC. The legal efforts involve both a city lawsuit against Gelman and also to raise awareness about terms of a consent judgment between the state's Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and Gelman Sciences. The agreement lays out what is seen as final remediation requirements for Gelman to clean up and monitor the site.
A hearing to decide whether to approve that consent agreement is scheduled in Washtenaw County Circuit Court this Thursday, April 20th.
City attorney Kaur says they’re seeking to intervene before the plan is approved. They’re asking the judge to order a public comment period on the new plan before it is approved.
"Our biggest concern is that we think this matter is of great public concern, it affects all of us. The court should allow a period of public comment before entering any agreement between Gelman and the state."
Kaur says, among other things, the city believes the proposed consent agreement doesn't adequately address removing dioxane from soils, nor does it set up a path for Gelman to clean up all of its contaminants.
Kaur says, the plan leaves many unanswered questions.
"The expansion of the prohibition zone. There might be private wells that are located there. Certain remediation activities, removing the dioxane-laden soil."
In the meantime, she says, the city continues its own legal action against Gelman, charging the company has failed to install dioxane monitoring wells on the old west side as it was ordered to do in a 2006 agreement with the city.
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