Overheated Coal Pile Removed from North Lansing

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Neighbors said the smell has lingered for more than a week. News 10 contacted the property owner, Conrad Yelvington Distributors of Michigan (CYDI), who explained that part of the coal pile became overheated and began producing smoke and dust.

On Friday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued the company a nuisance odor violation.

"While there's no imminent threat to human health...When it burns like this, there's a lot of sulfur smoke and we understand it smells really bad," said Brad Wurfel from Michigan DEQ.

In a statement, CYDI said they removed the overheated coal and will continue to work with the fire marshal and supplier to avoid future issues.

However, Mayor Virg Bernero says there are still unanswered questions.

"Is this a legitimate, a legal use of the land? Is this what it's permitted for and we're looking into all that. I know this much that we were not aware that they were storing this volume of coal so close to our neighborhoods," said Mayor Bernero.

The DEQ says the company does have a permit to store coal at the facility. The mayor has the city attorney researching how and if the city can regulate the land use and he's hoping to have answers for neighbors by Monday.

The Mayor announced the city will hold a community meeting on Monday, August 13, 2012 to meet with neighbors affected by the coal fire. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Gier Community Center, located at 2400 Hall Street in North Lansing.

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