Clinton Township Seeks Court-Ordered Ban on Uni-Dig Composting Operations
The ongoing lawsuit over Uni-Dig's alleged stench may see action in March.
St. Clair Shores Residents living downwind of Uni-Dig, Inc. will have to hold their breath for several more weeks as Clinton Township's lawsuit against the company and its "noxious" composting operations stretches into March.
The lawsuit, filed in Macomb County Circuit Court in June 2012, claims that the odor created by Uni-Dig's composting has become a public nuisance in the area around Gratiot Avenue and Quinn Road, in Clinton Township, where the business is located.
It also argues that Uni-Dig's property isn’t zoned for composting operations and notes that the business has been in violation with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality over the size of its composting pile in the past.
Going forward, Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon said the township plans to push for a court-ordered ban on Uni-Dig's composting.
“The Uni-Dig lawsuit it progressing,” Cannon said. “We are seeking depositions on the three Michaels family members … These documents, we believe, will make them stop composting.”
Uni-Dig owners Delores, Ronald and Renee Michaels are listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
On Jan. 7, township attorneys filed a motion to compel discovery on the part of Uni-Dig and a court date was set for Jan. 14. However, when representatives of Uni-Dig failed to appear, the hearing on this motion was rescheduled for Jan. 22, according to court records.
Both parties are scheduled to return to court for a status conference on March 12.
Cannon said at this time, the township is only looking to stop the company's composting operations, which have proved to be the source of consistent odor complaints from residents and businesses in the area.
"It's just the composting that has increased and the number of problems in recent years," Cannon said. "All the other things they do are fine."
In light of the ongoing legal battle, the township board voted in August to halt its business dealings with the company until the lawsuit is resolved. In the past, Clinton Township has done $15,000 to $20,000 in business with Uni-Dig annually.
Patch readers responded on the St. Clair Shores Patch Facebook about the odor, and how it affects residents.
- "I live at Masonic & Harper. The smells is so bad on some days!!!!!," wrote Justine Glassford.
- "It's an absolutely disgusting smell," Elizabeth Ann wrote.
- Martha Thierry It's horrible--let us know if they plan to take action. People should never be forced to live and work in an environment that is poisoned!," wrote Martha Thierry.
For residents and businesses affected by the alleged stench, the law offices of Macuga, Liddle & Dubin, P.C. are continuing to investigate odor complaints relating to Uni-Dig. They have created an online database for those who have "experienced odors from this facility and are interested in learning more about what you can do to stop it," according to attorneys' website.
For more information, visit http://www.mldclassaction.com/unidigodor.html