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Judge Dismisses Charges Against Donald Haugen


KALAMAZOO  (WKZO) -- A judge has dismissed two charges against a Texas Township man who used his residential property on O Ave. to store thousands of containers of lab wastes in 500 steel drums. The Judge felt the charges, releasing a hazardous chemical, were inappropriate.

Some of the waste was toxic, some of it was caustic and some of it was radioactive.  The Judge ruled that no case was made that the neighbors were in any danger because of the chemicals.

A fire believed to be sparked by a chemical reaction exposed the situation to authorities in 2008.

It’s not known if prosecutors will file new charges, but it’s a possibility.   

The EPA and DEQ thought the situation was dangerous enough in 2008 to initiate an emergency remedial cleanup and extensive testing of the groundwater.

It also sparked a great deal of concern from neighbors, fearful that their water wells might be contaminated by the wastes.