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Decorative Panels International in Violation of State Regulations Over Strong Odor in Alpena

On Friday, a source of a strong odor affecting much of northern Alpena was found at a lagoon at Decorative Panels International.

Protestors speak with Mayor Matt Waligora on Friday

According to the EGLE Air Quality Division, DPI is in violation of state regulation Rule 901 (b), which states the odor is an unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property. A 3 or above on the odor scale is considered a violation and, on Friday, an air quality inspector found DPI is at level 4. That indicates a smell that causes people to attempt to avoid it completely.

As of Tuesday, DPI has 14 days to respond to the violation notice. “They could dispute the odor is coming from them or they can give a report on what they plan on doing immediately and what they intend on doing in the long term so it doesn’t occur again,” said Matt Waligora, mayor of Alpena. “There’s odors that we’re used to and then there’s these odors that we’re not. So, I can’t imagine that now that we’ve pinpointed where they’ve come from, they’ve identified it, I can see DPI rectifying that a lot sooner than the 14 days but that will wait to be seen.”

According to EGLE, the odors entering the neighborhood have been described as foul sewer, rotting cooked cabbage, and burning wood.