66
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      Environmental group challenges Grayling fish hatchery expansion

      An environmental group is challenging state regulators' decision to allow expansion of a commercial fish hatchery that discharges into the Au Sable River in northern Michigan.

      TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - An environmental group is challenging state regulators' decision to allow expansion of a commercial fish hatchery that discharges into the Au Sable River in northern Michigan.

      The Department of Environmental Quality granted a permit in July allowing Harrietta Hills Trout Farm to boost production at the Grayling hatchery from about 20,000 pounds of rainbow trout a year to 300,000 pounds, which the facility owner says is essential to turn a profit.

      The Sierra Club filed a petition Monday to contest the permit before a DEQ administrative law judge. State Director Anne Woiwode says the permit would allow the hatchery to pollute the river with fish waste, food, diseases and parasites.

      DEQ spokesman Brad Wurfel says the permit will require close scrutiny of the hatchery's operations to protect the river.