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AG Nessel Files Complaint Against Pinconning Campground Owner for Unlicensed Operation

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently filed a complaint against Daniel Courtemanche, 68, of Pinconning, owner and operator of the Ugly RV Park, in the 30th Judicial Circuit Court in Ingham County for allegedly violating state laws by operating a campground in Pinconning without a preconstruction permit and license, installing and using non-compliant wastewater lagoons, and creating a public nuisance.

“Unpermitted campgrounds with non-compliant wastewater systems can pollute groundwater and threaten the health of an entire community, and violators must be held accountable,” Nessel said. “I applaud EGLE for their efforts to protect the environment and take a stand against those who risk the public health of campers in our state and disregard necessary protections for groundwater.”  

The Department alleges Courtemanche contacted the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in 2020 seeking guidance on the permitting process for campgrounds. Despite receiving clear instructions, Courtemanche allegedly proceeded to construct and operate the Ugly RV Park without obtaining a preconstruction permit or license, both of which are mandated by Part 125 of the Public Health Code. The Department further alleges that the Ugly RV Park has improperly engineered and constructed wastewater lagoons that discharge raw sewage to groundwater.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the wanton disregard of the legal safeguards in place to protect public health,” said Eric Oswald, director of EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division (DWEHD). “When those safeguards are repeatedly ignored and disregarded, we have no alternative than to take action against those who flaunt the law. We appreciate the Attorney General’s partnership in ensuring that rogue actors are held accountable.”

EGLE issued a cease and desist order and violation notice to Courtemanche in 2022 after receiving complaints from the Bay County Health Department. While there were communications between EGLE and Courtemanche, the violations were allegedly not addressed, and Courtemanche continues to operate the Ugly RV Park without a license or proper wastewater lagoons.

The complaint seeks injunctive relief, civil fines, and costs. The filed complaint is available here (PDF), and associated exhibits can be made available upon request.  

Courtemanche will next appear in front of Judge Wanda M. Stokes in the 30th Judicial Circuit Court in Ingham County on June 6.


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