Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy finalized a plan to enforce air quality violations committed by Stellantis. The automaker has seven violation notices issued from the state since 2021 for a plant it has on Detroit’s eastside.
“Most of them are for odor violations,” says Bridge Detroit reporter Jena Brooker. “But the latest one in November was for volatile organic compounds. They were emitting more than they were allowed to.”
Volatile organic compound (VOC) fumes are released from the factory when paint is applied to vehicles. VOCs are known to cause a slate of health impacts, including eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, vomiting, dizziness and exacerbating asthma symptoms. Wayne State University is researching the link between VOCs and preterm births.
Stellantis was previously tasked with coming up with a proposal to address its ongoing environmental violations. The plan, released in September, included a promise to install pollution control technology, plant trees at a park, upgrade a school, and pay fines to the State of Michigan General Fund.
Residents and advocates were critical of the proposal.
“It wasn’t good,” says Brooker. “Residents were really concerned about the lack of a concrete timeline for when the technology would be installed to prevent these ongoing air quality issues.”
Brooker says planting trees was also seen by some as a public relations stunt.
Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy issued a finalized version of its legally-binding enforcement plan for Stellantis last week. The new plan includes a deadline for Stellantis to install pollution control technology. It also requires the automaker to pay more money in fines and does not include the tree planting project.
You can read more about the plan in Jena Brooker’s Bridge Detroit story here.