Michigan environmental officials are putting the auto manufacturer Stellantis on notice over a series of air quality complaints.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy issued four violations to Stellantis plants in Detroit and Warren this year. Now, EGLE is escalating enforcement against the car company formerly known as Chrysler.
“The requirements in an air permit are necessary to protect the community,” said EGLE Air Quality Division field operations supervisor Chris Ethridge in a statement.
Thank you @MichiganEGLE for this announcement. This is a good step.
Looking forward to meeting soon to discuss how we can work together & ensure East Side residents’ health and well-being are protected and how Stellantis will be held accountable for their numerous violations. pic.twitter.com/aacQ5BkDRx
— Stephanie Chang (@stephanielily) November 18, 2021
Officials say the new Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit and the Warren Truck Plant did not properly install pollution control equipment, which can trigger federal intervention.
“So that resulted in detectable odors and health concerns in the community,” EGLE spokesperson Jill Greenberg says.
Greenberg says EGLE also noted “persistent and objectionable paint/solvent odors of moderate to strong intensity,” emitting from the Detroit assembly complex. Many residents living nearby complained.
“We’ve received 54 total complaints for Stellantis at the Mack site since July 2021. In that time, we’ve conducted six complaint investigations,” Greenberg says.
EGLE also cited the east-side Jeep plant for failing to properly filter its volatile organic compound emissions.
If EGLE-issued permits are not followed, Greenberg says, “then companies must be held accountable.”
EGLE’s escalation of the violations carries a monetary penalty and requires Stellantis to draft a compliance plan. The company is required to respond to the notice by the end of the year.
The move follows campaigning by environmental activists and Detroit residents living near the new east-side Jeep plant. They objected to the persistent smell of paint and chemicals coming from the site.