Three Oaks distillery may have to move due to sewer dispute

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By JourneymanDistillery [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

THREE OAKS, Mich. (AP) — A distillery may be forced to move out of a southwest Michigan village amid a possible cease-and-desist order for the business to stop releasing its byproduct into the sewage system.

The Village of Three Oaks says Journeyman Distillery is violating an ordinance and overwhelming the wastewater system with too much chemical discharge.

Distillery owner Bill Welter acknowledges that the chemicals exceed the ordinance. But he says the village is trying to blame the distillery for its wastewater system, which hasn’t been functioning properly for decades.

The distillery indicated it may seek to block the order or move to another community if its alcohol production is halted.

Both sides are trying to find a resolution such as hauling the waste to another site or upgrading the system.

Village officials will discuss the issue next week.

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