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Posted on Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

EMU golf course to receive $165,000 settlement from DuPont over killed trees

By Tom Perkins

Eastern Michigan University's Eagle Crest Golf Course will receive $165,000 as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against DuPont in federal court in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit was filed after a DuPont herbicide, Imprelis, killed trees at Eagle Crest and at least 300 other golf courses, homes and businesses across the country. Lawn-care companies also were part of the suit.

Around 140 trees were either killed or damaged at Eagle Crest. About half must be removed but haven’t been yet because the course has to wait until the lawsuit is finalized.


Eagle Crest will receive settlement money to replace and restore trees affected by a harmful DuPont herbicide.

Tom Perkins | For

Wes Blevins, director of golf at Eagle Crest, said course staff noticed in June 2011 that some of the white pines and Norway spruce trees had an orange tinge on the needles. By October, the tops of the trees were starting to curl. Those affected the worst have lost all their needles.

But Blevins said the affect on Eagle Crest’s overall appearance hasn’t been significant.

“There are only a couple of areas on the course where the infected trees will have an impact on the course,” he said. “Most of the infected trees are intermingled with healthy trees, therefore the impact is minimal.”

Imprelis is designed to kill weeds by being absorbed into the ground and destroying their root systems. But the herbicide also left trees with shallow root systems open to exposure from the chemical.

The award amount for each member of the suit was determined by a formula agreed upon by the plaintiffs and DuPont.

Because Ypsilanti Township owns the course and leases it to Eastern Michigan University for $1 annually, the Board of Regents had to approve the settlement, which it did unanimously at its March 25 meeting.

Some of the affected trees were removed by the golf course last year without the township's permission. That caused some friction between the course and township officials.

Golfers played more than 32,000 rounds of golf at Eagle Crest last year.

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Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the news desk at



Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

and for those of us who did not accept Dupont's Claim Resolution Agreement or agreed to join the class action lawsuit we can still pursue this through other channels and consider putting up a sign saying "Dead and dying trees courtesy of Dupont"!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

I would be happy to join.

Kyle Mattson

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

Not many of the pine/spruce trees come into play on the course unless you've got a bad slice or hook, but they do outline many of the holes around the course, especially around greens and tee boxes. If they are all removed at once it may make the course look a little bleak until replacement trees mature. Also to note the course was/is undergoing 1M in renovations:


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Count us among the many homeowners who have been waiting 2.5 years for our settlement. We had about 30 trees killed and/or affected and have been made to wait to remove the dead trees until the settlement ends. We are also on a well water system so we really worry about the affect this has had on our drinking water. I have told DuPont that if we don't get this resolved soon that I'll be ordering a large sign for our yard which says, "Landscaping courtesy of DuPont." We too would love to see more local and national media coverage about the issue. Perhaps that would speed up the process.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

Golf courses are one of the worst environmental offenders and somehow this lands in the category of "learn from this". If something kills life then what will it do down the road to us.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

"Golf courses are one of the worst environmental offenders " Really? Worst in what sense?


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

The class action ONLY helps people that haven't filed. The class action lawyers will not help us that filed 2 years ago ( i called and tried and was refused) and still wait and wait. We are being completely left out. It would be nice to get some press on us that are in limbo


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

DuPont pumped out Agent Orange and Napalm, thus destroying millions of lives, livelihoods and whole ecosystems in Southeast Asia. Nice to know that they only killed 140 tress along with 300 other golf courses, sounds familiar when I was exposed to AO in Vietnam, not too worry it won't harm you. Tell that to many of the our veterans that have died and or suffered from a variety of malignancies, now they've even gotten to me again just playing golf.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Walker.....and just for the record, I'm very proud and VERY grateful to you and all vets.It's guys like you that have allowed me and everyone else to live the lives we do.But the thing is,that if your'e gonna hold a grudge against any company that has dealt with the government involving war, your list is gonna be very long


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

walker....actually I was thinking more about the history of Napalm


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

TDW: Vietnam: Then and Now Company War Era Today Bell Huey helicopters Bidding to sell EMS choppers to Hanoi Boeing B-52, B-57 bombers Sold four B777s, four 7E7 Dreamliners to Vietnam Airlines Dow Agent Orange Sells $30 million/yr. of chemicals, epoxy resins DuPont Agent Orange Manufactures pesticides, herbicides, fungicides Monsanto Agent Orange Sells hybrid corn seed, agricultural chemicals Raytheon Weapons systems, Air traffic control, Ho Chi Minh City Hawk missiles airport Sikorsky Helicopters Bidding to supply EMS choppers to Hanoi


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

The primary producers of napalm and agent orange were Michigan's very own Dow Chemical and Monsanto. DuPont also produced them during the Vietnam War, along with many other smaller companies who ran to the government trough to get their share--although, in the end, Dow was the sole provider of napalm to the US armed forces. I am in no way defending DuPont. But the bottom line is that chemical companies tend to produce chemicals, and some of those products turn out to be harmful. Beware the lawn service that tells you not to worry about some new herbicide they want to dump on your lawn, assuring you that it's perfectly safe and so benign they'd let their own toddlers play in it!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Do you have anything to back that up by chance ? according to Wikki ( yea not the best source ) Agent Orange was primarily produced by Monsanto Corp and Dow.Napalm was produced by many companies and it was basically Napa and Palm oil or other forms of jellied fuel

Hugh Giariola

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

@applehazar, I believe it is a class action lawsuit. I saw it listed in the back of a magazinejust 2 days ago, so there is still time to file a claim.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

I find it interesting that it appears when large towns and companies file claims against DuPont the settlements come quick to get dupont out of the press homeowners affected like me have been frustrated by duponts antics for over 2 years with little and poor settlements. needs to reach out to homeowners for our opinions