Delphi Corp.'s plan to emerge from bankruptcy could leave Michigan responsible for cleaning up pollution at the auto supplier's properties, state environmental officials say.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has filed a limited objection in federal bankruptcy court asserting that General Motors Co. remains liable for contamination at Delphi properties.
GM once owned Delphi and will again acquire the 3,000-employee Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems under the bankruptcy plan. Other Delphi facilities would fall under the ownership of the private firm Platinum Equity and possibly a group of creditors.
Delphi's plan to emerge from bankruptcy could win court approval as early as this week.
The DEQ wants to make sure cleanup at current and former Delphi sites doesn't become the state's responsibility when the company is split, spokesman Robert McCann said.
"The bottom line is there are contaminated properties that need to be dealt with," McCann told The Saginaw News.
The News reported that Delphi declined to comment on the pollution issue. A call from The Associated Press to a Delphi spokesman went unanswered Sunday.
Three Delphi sites in Saginaw County have pollution problems involving contaminates such as solvents, metals and petroleum, said Rhonda Klann, a Bay City-based environmental quality analyst for the state agency. None of the problems is considered an immediate threat to public health since the pollution remains on factory property and does not affect drinking water, she said.
"These are long-term problems, and they've been working on them over the years," Klann said.
GM Powertrain factories in Saginaw and Bay City have similar contamination issues that GM is addressing, she said.
Neither Delphi nor GM have developed comprehensive remediation plans, but GM is farther along in the process, Klann said.
Delphi has been in bankruptcy since 2005. An auction of its assets is set for Tuesday, and a final bankruptcy court hearing could take place Thursday in New York.