Good news if you live near Jeep’s new assembly plant on Detroit’s east side. Stellantis told Michigan regulators it finally has a plan to solve a persistent odor issue at the complex. The catch is, they don’t know have a date for when it will actually be fixed.
The automaker released results of an odor investigation (a real thing) at its one-year-old assembly plant.
The 67-page report was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. They’ve hit the complex with quite a few air quality violations since last fall. The State of Michigan even launched a website to track them.
“The modeling results identified a number of corrective actions that, once implemented, will ensure that odors do not reach the neighboring community,” the company said in a news release.
Neighbors near the plant have said the smell is hurting their quality of life. Stellantis says the key to solving the odor problem is the installation of new equipment and ducting.
That’s all well and good, but they will not discuss the cost or more importantly, how long it will take to complete the project.
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New equipment includes an additional regenerative thermal oxidizer to treat pollution from the plant. High-temperature combustion will be used to oxidize pollutants and turn them into carbon dioxide and water before they’re released into the open air. The big issue is when the equipment will arrive, as a Stellantis spokesperson says the company is awaiting lead times yet to be determined by the various suppliers.
Stellantis said last month it had solved a ducting issue at the plant and the air in the community was safe. In November, the state ramped up its enforcement of the violations and said it would begin to issue fines – though they haven’t said what the fines would be. Production began in March 2021, and the plant has received three violation notices from regulators since.
The Detroit Assembly Complex cost Stellantis $1.6 billion when they converted the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex into the assembly plant for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee as well as other upcoming models. It is the first new auto assembly plant in Detroit in 30 years.
So, as Stellantis continues to fumble the response to this glaring issue – its the people of Detroit’s east side who are left dealing with the brunt of the problem.