Heard on All Things Considered

Detroiters Call for Stellantis to Clean Up the Air Around Jeep Plant on City’s East Side

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Image credit: Stellantis North America

For the second straight month, state regulators cite the new Stellantis Jeep Plant on Detroit’s east side for another air quality violation, this time for failing to remove volatile organic compounds and hazardous compounds from the plant’s exhaust. 

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Residents and activists want Stellantis to clean up the air around the automaker’s east-side Detroit Jeep factory.   

Last month, following complaints by residents, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy issued a violation to Stellantis for a strong paint smell coming from the plant.   

The most recent violation is for failing to remove volatile organic compounds and hazardous compounds from the plant’s exhaust.  

Kenny Holloway lives on Beniteau Street right next to the plant. He says he doesn’t feel like city leadership is listening to his concerns.  

I’ve been at meetings at City Council. I’ve been at meetings with Duggan and all we do is get a banana in the tailpipe over here,” Holloway says.  

Eden Kasmala, who is with the activist group Detroit People’s Platform, says promises made by the automaker — and the city — are being broken.  

When this plant was presented to residents in the community benefits process, it was presented to us as the greenest and it would be one of the greenest plants in North America, right, and the emissions were going to be low. And I’ll be frank, they made me feel like I was crazy for being concerned about what was happening in our backyard.”  

He says nearby residents often don’t have other options.  

We’ve done surveys, [residents] don’t have AC. They can’t shut up their windows … they’re exposed to the stuff 24/7 when the weather’s nice.”  

Stellantis has three weeks to comply with the latest order.   

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Russ McNamara, Reporter / Host, All Things Considered

Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He’s been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.

russmcnamara@wdet.org Follow @McNamaraWDET

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