LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Court of Appeals has affirmed $94,000 in fines imposed on General Motors for discharging PCBs into a municipal wastewater treatment facility.
The three-judge panel rejected GM's argument that the Bay City, Mich., Wastewater Treatment Plant violated GM's right to due process of law by assessing the fines without a hearing in 1992.
The court upheld administrative compliance orders citing GM for violating its access permit and the city's sewer-use ordinance.
GM, which had a history of discharging PCBs from its Bay City powertrain plant, had contracted with the city-owned facility to process and treat industrial wastewater.
'Under pressure from state and federal regulatory agencies, the facility and city began to tighten their pollution standards and laws,' the Court of Appeals said. Under those tighter standards, GM was fined for failing to comply with its industrial user permit and for violating the sewer ordinance.
Stuart Teger, a Detroit attorney who represents GM in the case, said the company has not decided whether to appeal further.
Michael Kuhn, superintendent of the Bay City Wastewater Treatment Plant, said GM has made progress but still occasionally violates the standard prohibiting detectable amounts of PCBs. Those violations leave the city vulnerable to penalties from the federal and state governments.