DNR Recognized for Investigating Flint Company That Dumped 47M Gallons of Waste Into Flint River
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is being honored for its investigation of a Flint company that illegally dumped millions of gallons of toxic liquid into the city's sewer system. That sewer system then flowed into the Flint River.
That illegal dumping occurred during a period when the city's drinking water was being taken from the Flint River.
Oil Chem Inc. of Flint reportedly dumped more than 47 million gallons of leachate that it was accepting from landfills. Oil Chem was not licensed to receive such waste and was not licensed to dispose of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste.
The company, which has been operating in Flint since 1978, claims to be a 'non-hazardous waste treatment facility' on its website.
Sentence and Fine
The company's owner, Robert Massey was investigated and deemed responsible for authorizing his company to accept leachate from eight landfills across the state beginning in 2007. In May of this year, Massey signed a plea deal and was sentenced to one year in prison.
Oil Chem also paid a civil fine of $250,000 to the city of the Flint and had its waste hauler license revoked, according to WJBK.
DNR Officers Honored
The DNR's Vence Woods and Gary Hagler accepted the 2021 'Chief David Cameron Leadership in Environmental Crimes Award on Monday at the annual convention held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
The investigation into Oil Chem's illegal dumping began when an employee at the Flint Wastewater Treatment Plant blew the whistle, suspecting that Oil Chem had been dumping the harmful liquid illegally.