Ohio company will pay almost $250K for Michigan fish kill

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heather johnston

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The owner of a paper mill in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has agreed to pay nearly $250,000 to settle an investigation of a fish kill in the Escanaba River.

State regulators say a “catastrophic pipe failure” at the Verso site in Escanaba resulted in a discharge of partially treated wastewater in August 2020.

The mill generates a pollutant known as “black liquor,” which typically is burned as an energy source.

The river was deprived of oxygen, and fish in the river were killed for three miles. The Escanaba River runs for 52 miles from Marquette County to Lake Michigan.

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