DETROIT—Thanks in part to our threatened lawsuit alleging hundreds of violations of the federal Clean Air Act, one of the largest trash incinerators in the country will soon be demolished to make room for a new home for Detroit’s stray dogs and cats. 

Decades of local organizing in response to noxious odors and toxic emissions, a series of enforcement orders by Michigan regulators, and, finally, NELC’s notice of intent to sue on behalf of Environment Michigan and The Ecology Center have forced the CEO of Detroit Renewable Power LLC to admit that the million-ton-per-year incinerator could not afford to operate without serious air pollution violations. 

In an Oct. 14 settlement agreement reached with the groups, the company has agreed to permanently cease operations and void its operating permits, bringing long-overdue improvements in air quality to the heavily impacted neighborhoods located in the crook of Interstates 94 and 75 in downtown Detroit. 

The city plans to demolish the incinerator and construct a new Detroit Animal Care and Control shelter at the site.