Landfill gas to energy facility in Salem Township ordered to pay $750,000 in settlement over reported Clean Air Act violations

Arbor Hills Landfill in Northville, Mich.
Arbor Hills Landfill in Northville, Mich. (WDIV)

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Mich.A settlement has been reached between the Justice Department, the state of Michigan, the EPA and Arbor Hills Energy in connection with a landfill in Salem Township.

Read: ‘Threat to residents’: Lawsuit filed against Advance Disposal over Arbor Hills Landfill not meeting federal requirements

According to authorities, Arbor Hills Energy LLC has agreed to significantly reduce -- if not virtually eliminate -- its sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at its landfill gas-to-energy facility to resolve alleged Clean Air Act and state law violations.

State and federal officials alleged Arbor Hills Energy had several Clean Air Act violation -- including exceedances of the facility’s permitted SO2 emissions limits. This pollutant causes harm to human health and the environment once emitted into the air, including premature death, heart attacks, respiratory problems and adverse environmental effects.

Read: Northville residents raise concerns about safety of Arbor Hills Landfill

“This settlement makes important progress in improving air quality near the AHE Facility,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “My office is also addressing air pollution from the adjacent landfill in the case I filed on behalf of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy in 2020 against the landfill owner. Combined, when completed, this work will dramatically improve the impact both facilities have had on the surrounding communities.”

The facility converts landfill gas -- generated by the decomposition of waste from the landfill -- into electricity by burning it in four gas turbines. Under the settlement, Arbor Hills Energy will either construct a renewable natural gas facility that converts LFG into pipeline quality natural gas and would virtually eliminate SO2 emissions, or install a sulfur treatment system that achieves a 64 percent reduction in SO2 emissions by March 2023.

Arbor Hills Energy will also pay a civil penalty of $750,000 -- split evenly between the U.S. and Michigan.

More information can be read on the United States Department of Justice website here.

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Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.