U.S.:Ford pays state $2.75 million toward toxic waste cleanup
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co. has paid the state $2.75 million toward the cleanup of nearly 7,000 barrels containing toxic waste unlawfully buried in northern Michigan.
The payment, agreed to following discussions between Ford and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), will help offset the $3.6 million incurred by the state in an investigation that began in 1996.
The dump site, a 6-acre parcel about five miles southeast of Traverse City, was operated by Fabco Fabricating Co. A one-man weld shop that rebuilt parts bins used during the vehicle assembly process, Fabco went out of business in 1981.
It was not a legitimate waste hauler, nor is the site certified for dumping. How Fabco acquired the toxic material, which included paint waste, is not known.
Fabco’s business records have been destroyed and the company’s owner, John Lundahl Sr., is deceased.
Ford does not have any record of a contract with Fabco, spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said.
But the automaker is taking responsibility for the site, which includes long-term testing to monitor the operation’s effects on the environment.
Solvents such as toluene and xylene were found in a barrel labeled “Ford Motor Co. Mt. Clemens Paint Plant.”
“Clearly, the bulk of (the waste) came from Ford,” DEQ spokeswoman Patricia Spitzley said.
Kinley said just two barrels could be traced to the automaker.
The DEQ said it found discarded packaging material bearing information about other companies, such as the former Chrysler Corp. But the toxic material could only be linked to Ford.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....