Rep. Rabhi Introduces Pollution Cleanup Legislation

Bill addresses Ann Arbor’s dioxane-contaminated groundwater
Thursday, January 26, 2017

LANSING — State Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) introduced a bill today to require polluters to clean up contamination. Under current law, polluters can simply restrict access to a site or an aquifer instead of treating or removing pollutants. House Bill 4123 would require that pollution be cleaned up as much as technically feasible. Rep. Rabhi introduced it today with a bipartisan group of 21 co-sponsors.

“Across our state, there are many polluted places where people can’t live or drink the groundwater, because our laws don’t hold polluters accountable for cleaning up their messes,” Rep. Rabhi said. “Instead of writing off more and more of our land and water every year, we need to restore our state to be as pollution-free as possible.”

Rep. Rabhi represents Ann Arbor, where the Pall-Gelman Corp. dumped hundreds of thousands of pounds of the solvent 1,4 dioxane into the groundwater from the 1960s through 1980s. Because there is no law requiring that Pall-Gelman pump and treat the contaminated water to restore the aquifer, the court-approved management plan allows the pollution to remain and spread. The “prohibition zone” of restricted groundwater has grown over time, and the dioxane is spreading toward the Huron River, which is the source for Ann Arbor’s municipal drinking water.

“The people of Michigan deserve clean and safe air, water and soil,” Rep. Rabhi said. “I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting this important step toward making our state a better place to live.”

###