For Immediate Release
March 21, 2003
Contact Donna Halinski (517) 372-4400

State Finds No Evidence of Health Hazards by Continental Aluminum

New Hudson, MI - A public health consultation released by the Michigan Department of Community Health shows no determinative evidence that Continental Aluminum creates any health hazards to the community and that the company's plant is operating within the established health-based screening limits. The MDCH conducted a public health assessment of the emissions from the Continental Aluminum plant's stacks as the result of a petition request by local citizens to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

According to the public health consultation, "the health hazard presented by emissions from Continental Aluminum is indeterminate." The report also said "air dispersion modeling and stack testing for the chemicals of interest indicate that emissions are within the established health-based screening levels."

"This state public health consultation confirms that Continental Aluminum does not pose any health problems for the community," said Bill Altgilbers, president of Continental Aluminum. " Testing has shown the plant is operating within the limits, we are not exceeding any state or federal regulations and no health hazard has been identified. We are confident that if the Michigan Department of Community Health continues to approach this matter on a sound scientific basis and apply technical methods that are objective, they will find no evidence of health hazards."

Last week Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Isidore B. Torres issued an order denying class certification in a suit against Continental Aluminum. In the critical March 13 ruling, Judge Torres agreed with Continental that the plaintiffs' claims were "unsuitable" for class action treatment, stating the plaintiffs' arguments in support of their motion for class certification are "rejected as neither legally compelling nor logically persuasive."

Two weeks ago, Oakland County Circuit Judge Fred Mester ruled that Lyon Township acted unconstitutionally. Judge Mester ruled on March 5 that the Township's zoning ordinance, under which the Township attached conditions to Continental Aluminum's right to restore its building to pre-existing status following a fire, is unconstitutional. Continental filed a lawsuit challenging the conditions. The ruling confirmed that Continental had a reasonable basis to restore its building absent compliance with the unconstitutional conditions.

"Continental's goal continues to be a good corporate citizen in the community," said Altgilbers. "We will continue to comply with federal, state and local laws."

Continental Aluminum recycles various grades of aluminum scrap into products for the automotive and steel industries. The company melts raw materials consisting of aluminum scrap from reclaimed windows, radiators, cars and machinery parts, and other metal scrap that contains aluminum.