Automobile

Stellantis plant in Detroit hit with 6th air quality violation in a year

Stellantis has been hit with another odor violation at its Detroit Assembly Complex on Mack Avenue, marking the sixth time in a year that state regulators have flagged the Jeep plant for air pollution.

The assembly and paint complex on the city’s east side was cited Tuesday for “nuisance odors” recorded by inspectors Sept. 30, according to the violation notice from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

“During the investigation … (Air Quality Division) staff observed persistent and objectionable paint/solvent and chemical odors of moderate intensity (Level 3) impacting residential areas downwind of the facility,” the notice said.

According to investigators, the odors were of “sufficient intensity, duration, and frequency” to constitute an “unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property.”

Stellantis said it is investigating the incident.

“Stellantis has been implementing corrective actions related to our Mack Assembly Plant as submitted to EGLE earlier this year,” spokeswoman Jodi Tinson told Crain’s in an email. “We are investigating this recent incident and will work with EGLE to address this issue in a timely manner.”

The violation is the sixth issued to the automaker since September 2021. The plant launched production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L in March of that year after investing $1.6 billion to convert two old plants comprising the Mack Avenue Engine Complex.

The latest violation comes close on the heels of the automaker and state reaching a tentative agreement on penalties for the air pollution, which calls for a $62,863 fine and a pair of community enhancements. More importantly, the agreement would allow Stellantis to install a regenerative thermal oxidizer, which it has said will eliminate the odor problem.

Before the enforcement action is finalized, a public hearing will take place Oct. 19, and a comment period will continue through Nov. 2. Residents near the plant have said the proposed penalties are not enough.

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