Watch CBS News

Stellantis ordered to pay $275K fine for air quality violations, residents respond

Stellantis ordered to pay $275k fine for air quality violations, residents respond
Stellantis ordered to pay $275k fine for air quality violations, residents respond 02:32

(CBS DETROIT) - A Stellantis paint shop is causing concerns in the neighborhood.

Residents say an odor emitting from the Jeep Mack Assembly plant is polluting the air.

"I mean it's no fun trying to cut your grass and your eyes are burning and you're possibly having chest issues or breathing issues and things of that nature from the scent," said Robert Shobe who lives behind the plant. 

Shobe formed the neighborhood group Justice for Beniteau to speak out against the automaker's expansion to assemble Jeeps near their homes.

"We organized to be able to stan up to the different things that we said were coming that did come as far as the violations from the air quality and people getting sick and the foundational damage to the homes and things of that nature," Shobe said.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy issued a civil order to the automaker to resolve five air quality violations.

EGLE is requiring Stellantis to dish out $275k in fines.

"2021 of June is when is they started running full production," Shobe explained.

I'm pretty sure they were playing with it before then but that's when we really started having major issues with the pollutants coming from over there. 

Part of the order also calls for environmental investments in the community.

Stellantis is also extending its partnership with Greening of Detroit to help improve air quality by planting more than 80 trees here on Fairview Street between Warren and East Canfield, which is three blocks west of the facility. 

The agreement orders Stellantis to replace a lighting, water and HVAC system at Southeastern High School, located one mile from the plant.

"It's a great thing anytime you do something that's going to improve the lives of children, children are our future, but to give people in this area the ideal that planting some trees three, a quarter mile away from here is going to help the people who are mostly impacted by this is just not good," Shobe said.

Stellantis released a statement to Detroit Now about the order that reads in part quote:

"The terms of the agreement will allow us to make additional investments in the community as part of two Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), based on feedback we received. We are eager to see the benefits these projects will bring to the community."

EGLE is hosting an online public hearing October 19th at 6pm.

Residents can submit comments through November 2nd online or by phone at 517-284-0900.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.