Illegal dumping could result in felony, 2-year prison sentence

LOWELL, Mich. -- The Lowell Police Department is investigating what appears to be illegal dumping in the Flat River.

Detectives have identified a person of interest, an unnamed pool company. If charged and convicted, the company or an employee could face between six months and two years in prison.

In the most serious case, the responsible party will be charged with a felony and potentially other violations from environmental agencies.

"It's a serious matter because it goes right to the river, and it could pollute the river depending on what it is," said City Manager Michael Burns.

The dumping apparently occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Bruce and Linda Matthews discovered the substance while boating on the Flat River. They took photos and reported it to local police.

"As we were coming back, we just saw this funky, yellow-ish, white-ish, green-ish pool along the bank of the river," said Linda Matthews. "Initially when it was in the river, I thought maybe it was a a natural phenomena kind of thing like, 'Whoa, what is that?'"

She quickly realized it was coming from the storm drain.

"(I) knew that it was some sort of spill, that it was something toxic, something not natural at all, that it was hurting the river," said Matthews.

Once the Matthews notified police, crews immediately cleaned up the mysterious substance.

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy took samples of the substance to test it. EGLE could also bring violations against any parties responsible for the dumping.

No one has yet to be charged in the case. Police also would not name the company they are calling 'of interest.'

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3 comments

  • GF Founder

    Your story said, “.. crews immediately cleaned up the mysterious substance.” What crews cleaned it up? How was it cleaned up? Why do you call the substance mysterious? I hope someone accountable to the public provides more information soon!

    • Bruce E Matthews

      The Lowell DPW called in Youngs Environmental Cleanup Service, who did the cleanup, which I believe included flushing and suctioning the storm drain into mobile holding tanks. I don’t know how they removed anything from the river. Samples were collected for testing; I don’t know if the results are back.

  • brboltoph

    Detectives have identified a person of interest, an unnamed pool company. If charged and convicted, the company or an employee could face between six months and two years in prison.

    Since when is it possible to put a company in prison for ANY length of time?

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