"As a regulatory body, MDEQ often resorts to discretion when dealing with those who break the rules again and again. When those negotiations are complete, sometimes several violations are bundled into one, sometimes an isolated exceedance will not be alleged, and sometimes even when it is there may be no penalty attached to it.
Ultimately, the facility paid fines of $149,000 for a half-dozen violations. Nine continuous weeks of excess particulate emissions were counted as one single violation. More than 300 violations of carbon monoxide releases were excused because they occurred during startup, shut-down, or due to a malfunction. Many others, however, were not alleged as violations solely at the discretion of MDEQ."
"Not only did people complain, but state staff arrived on-scene and substantiated the calls with their verdicts on the “alleged” smells. Assistant AG Leone writes that the department’s Air Quality Division fielded 200 odor complaints between June 5 and Dec. 31, 2015; 88 percent were confirmed by on-site observers and attributed to the facility. The division fielded another 200 odor complaints for 2017; field investigators attributed 90 percent of the complaints to the facility. The division received another 75 odor complaints from Jan. 1 to June 15, 2018, and field observers verified about 86 percent as coming from the facility."
"Even as the economy turned south and Detroit faced bankruptcy, the giveaways kept coming. In 2008, the state had redefined waste-to-energy power as "renewable," making the facility eligible for valuable green energy credits. In 2011, the facility's new owners came to Detroit City Council seeking $4.1 million in brownfield credits. The request was granted. In 2013, the owners completed a deal with the Michigan Strategic Fund for $55 million in tax-exempt bonds."
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