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Jonathan W. Bulkley papers, 1957-2015 (majority within 1978-2011)

87 linear feet — 1 oversize folder — 8 tubes — 8.79 GB (online) — 1 oversize box

Jonathan W. Bulkley (1938-2019) was the University of Michigan's Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Peter M. Wege Endowed Professor Emeritus of Sustainable Systems in the School of Natural Resources and Environment (now the School for Environment and Sustainability). Bulkley's expertise in water resource management and water policy was sought in numerous lawsuits over the course of his career, most notably as special master (1978-1979) and monitor (1979-2009) in several cases regarding the failure of various Michigan organizations to comply with iterations of the 1972 Clean Water Act. He was also a member of the Ann Arbor, Mich. Housing Commission and served as its president in 1974-1976. This collection primarily documents Bulkley's legal and other professional activities and includes architectural drawings, clippings, correspondence, court proceedings and testimony, reports, legal documents, committee and meeting files, operating logs, notes, publications, and photographs. A small portion of records relates to Bulkley's work on the Ann Arbor Housing Commission. These records include records of meetings, policy statements, and staff materials documenting the work of the commission.

The Jonathan W. Bulkley papers primarily document Bulkley's involvement in several legal cases, including the 1977 lawsuit United States v. The City of Detroit (case number 77-71100) and the 1987 lawsuitU.S. v. Wayne County (case number 87-70992), both presided over by Judge John Feikens. These lawsuits concerned the failure of both the City of Detroit and Wayne County's wastewater treatment plants to adhere to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Clean Water Act. Judge Feikens was lauded for his handling of these cases, as he focused on negotiation and settlement, rather than unilateral judgement; the cases were resolved through complex consent judgements that were amended over time.

This collection also documents Bulkley's involvement in the Ann Arbor Housing Commission as well as various other academic and professional work he undertook throughout his career. Examples include his work in various smaller lawsuits, including one brought against the City of Toledo, Ohio by the U.S. (civil action number 3:91:CV7646), his involvement in the controversy over the removal of the Huron River's Argo Dam, and his work with the Michigan Environmental Science Board (MESB).

Materials in this collection include correspondence, maps, memos, reports, articles and clippings, notes, papers, court proceedings, testimony, and other legal materials, committee and meeting files, operating logs, course notes, architectural drawings, subject files, project plans, and photographs.

Researchers should note that due to the complex and intermingled nature of the various legal cases, some materials relating to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) may be found in the Rouge River Watershed (RRW) series, and vice versa. When possible, materials have been kept in Bulkley's original groupings, and have been arranged in a rough chronological order.


Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), 1957-2011 (majority within 1978-2009)


The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) series (36 linear feet and 8.41 GB) primarily documents Bulkley's activities as a special master (1977-1978) and monitor (1978-1983) in the Environmental Protection Agency's lawsuit against the City of Detroit (case number 77-1100), which addressed the city's violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and was presided over by Judge John Feikens. Materials include monitor and master reports, consent decrees/judgements, clippings, correspondence, court proceedings/testimony, reports (including consent judgement progress reports), legal documents, meeting minutes, operating logs, notes, publications, and photographs.

The major focus of this series is the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, one of the largest governmental water and wastewater service utilities providers in the United States whose service area consists of multiple sewer districts and individual municipalities. Specific topics include negotiating the consent judgment and amended consent judgement, which addressed industrial waste control, staff training, effluent limitations, air quality, and user charges (among other topics); the testing of the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant's (DWWTP/DWTP) sewage treatment capabilities to ensure compliance with the standards of the Clean Water Act; and the appointment of Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young and Professor Joe G. Moore to facilitate compliance with the court-ordered judgment, particularly when the test revealed the DWWTP's inadequate treatment of waste materials.

Other significant topics include the EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program and the Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP); DWWTP's building improvements and related lawsuits; various committees Bulkley was involved with, particularly those pertaining to the Greater Detroit Regional Sewer System (GDRSS); CSO control efforts, as exemplified by the long-term CSO control plan; and the challenge of maintaining the DWWTP under the City of Detroit's jurisdiction.