EPA Cites Detroit for Clean Air Violations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 filed an administrative complaint against Detroit's Department of Public Works for alleged violations of federal regulations on asbestos, a hazardous air pollutant. EPA proposed a $49,500 penalty.

EPA alleges the city did not follow proper asbestos-removal procedures when city-owned properties were demolished at 12750 W. Grand River, 14845 Mack Ave., 21231 Fenkell St., 22351 Fenkell St. and 8042 Michigan Ave. Specifically, the city failed to give EPA prior written notification, to adequately remove all regulated asbestos-containing material before demolition, and to wet the material after removal.

Asbestos is a known cancer-producing substance that can cause mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer, and asbestosis, a lung disease, many years after exposure.

The city has 30 days from receipt of the complaint to file an answer and request a hearing. It may request an informal conference with EPA at any time to discuss how to resolve the allegations.

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