General Motors Faces Lawsuit Over Contaminated Groundwater

Residents claim GM knew about the contaminates for 30 years

GM faces groundwater contamination lawsuit

On Nov. 30, residents of Brighton Township, Mich., filed a lawsuit against General Motors (GM) for groundwater contamination caused by salt use at the GM Milford Proving Grounds. Moreover, the suit claims that GM has concealed and denied claims of water contamination since 1985 when a Michigan engineering firm conducted a water study that uncovered sodium chloride contamination.

Water sources surrounding the company's proving grounds show 630 mg/L for sodium and 1,300 mg/L for chloride. These numbers far exceed the residential groundwater criteria of 160 mg/L for sodium and 250 mg/L for total chloride. Residents participating in the lawsuit request GM stop pollution, pay for cleanup costs and repairs, and a compensation fee for health risks.

In response to the lawsuit, GM released a statement that said, “GM does not believe this suit has merit. Salt deposits naturally occur in this area, and salt is also used on the many nearby public roads during winter. Nonetheless, acting as a good neighbor, salt usage at the Milford Proving Ground has been reduced by 60% over the last two decades and GM submits regular reports on the groundwater quality at the Milford Proving Ground to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.”

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