Michigan Sugar sued over plant odors
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Michigan Sugar Company over foul smells from its Bay City plant.
The complaint claims terrible odors have interfered with local residents' use of their property and have reduced their property values. It seeks damages on their behalf.
The complaint says the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has received approximately 800 complaints about the plant and has confirmed the presence of strong sewer-like to manure-like odors.
A Michigan Sugar Company spokesperson had no comment on the class action lawsuit, providing a written statement that said, "At Michigan Sugar, we have a proven commitment to being a good neighbor and a strong community partner, and we have invested millions of dollars in cutting-edge technology to minimize our impact on the community we serve, while providing hundreds of good-paying jobs for local families and pumping millions of dollars into the local economy. We have not received notice of a lawsuit, and if and when we do, we will review it and respond accordingly."
According to Malcolm Mead-O'Brien, enforcement staff with the Air Quality Division of the MDEQ, the agency has issued 16 odor-related notice violations to the company since 2015.
Mead-O'Brien said the state is negotiating with Michigan Sugar to resolve the odor violations.
According to the company's website, Michigan Sugar is the third largest beet sugar processor in the United States.