EMU golf course to receive $165,000 settlement from DuPont over killed trees
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.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
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.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.