Lockhart Chemical could face hefty fines after Flint River spill

An order has been issued against Lockhart chemical, with fines as high as $25,000 per day.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 10:41 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – The state is ordering Lockhart Chemical to stop using its faulty infrastructure that caused the Flint River spill or face fines as high as $25,000 per day.

Initially, the city of Flint ordered Lockhart Chemical to cease operations after the June leak of an oil-like substance.

Now, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are taking it a step further.

“I will not allow a company to threaten the safety of residents and the health of our environment here or anywhere else,” Nessel said.

Nessel has since stated that Lockhart continues to threaten the surrounding environment.

“Lockhart was given multiple opportunities to correct these problems at their facility and they simply refused and now they must face the consequences,” Nessel said.

Since the order from the city of Flint in June, Lockhart has been operating under a modified order that prevents the company from discharging any liquid waste held in its tanks into the city’s sewer system.

The new order from EGLE takes that a step further.

“The order that was issued by the city was the necessary immediate action,” Polly Synk of the Michigan Attorney General’s office said. “And what the statutory action by EGLE does is it prohibits use of certain infrastructure that was determined to be faulty and causing the leaks and the discharges into the Flint River.”

Synk stated that it will remain in effect until plans are approved for fixing it, ceasing use or routing around it.

Under the order, EGLE could fine Lockhart up to $25,000 a day for violations. It also could pursue additional action for failure to comply.

“Through the work of EGLE and through the investigative branch of our sheriff’s department, we saw continued violations continue to happen and that’s when we put into action to get to where we’re at today,” 4th District Genesee County Commissioner Domonique Clemons said.

The Flint River remains under a no-contact order from Stepping Stone Falls to Leith Street.

Health department officials say any decision to reopen the waterway will depend on clean-up efforts and test results.