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State orders Lockhart Chemical in Flint to stop using underground tunnels for wastewater and stormwater

Michael Barera

A Flint chemical company has been ordered to stop using defective wastewater and stormwater tunnels on its property.

Lockhart Chemical Company was the source of an oily spill that spread more than 20 miles downstream along the Flint River earlier this year, investigators said.

State officials say small amounts of the chemical are still being found in a city storm drain.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, along with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, delivered the order to Lockhart officials Monday.

“Businesses that neglect their responsibilities put people at risk,” said Nessel, “We simply cannot stand for that type of disregard.”

According to Nessel, Lockhart was given multiple opportunities to correct the problems at its facility, but refused.

State regulators have cited Lockhart for numerous violations at its Flint facility, including before the spill in the Flint River was discovered in mid-June.

Lockhart did not respond to calls requesting comment.