In an unprecedented move, the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE, formerly MDEQ) permit approval requires FCA create a plan for additional monitoring and “community benefits” to address environmental health issues passionately raised by residents at the public hearing. This is a major win for residents that certainly reflects the long-term struggle for environmental justice for black and brown communities in Detroit.
It is expected, but still unfortunate that FCA have continued to disrespect residents through this project as well. FCA are hand-picking who they engage with about these additional environmental benefits and have created their own story about meeting Detroiters concerns. While we cannot anticipate what will make it into FCA’s environmental plan, based on the problems with the city’s CBA, there is legitimate concern Fiat Chrysler will come back with too little.
Due to this residents have come together to create a petition to request EGLE only approve FCA’s Environmental Plan if ALL these recommendations and projects
Donating AT LEAST $12.5 MILLION into the PUBLIC HEALTH FUND and directing those funds to support protections and public health education for vulnerable populations around the project. $7.5 million will support the estimated cost of filter installation in 10 large, 15 medium and 10 small buildings, and $5 million will support ongoing public health education.
AIR FILTRATION SYSTEMS and AIR QUALITY MONITORING AT LOCATIONS WITH VULNERABLE POPULATIONS Head Starts, K-12 Schools and senior buildings; ensuring that filters and monitors are maintained over time. Air Filters can reduce exposure to pollutants for vulnerable populations. Ongoing off-site and mobile monitoring will support the protection of populations around FCA and should be placed in locations that are determined in consultation with the community.
VEGETATIVE BUFFERS/TRAFFIC MITIGATION Trees, green space, speed bumps and the redirection of traffic can make an impact on pollution concentrations from the facility and increased truck traffic. However, it takes time for trees to grow and the benefit to indoor air quality, where children spend most of their time, is uncertain. Note: Filters can provide immediate reductions in exposure for vulnerable populations and should be prioritized (see above).
TRUCK ROUTING Increased FCA and supplier truck traffic to and from the plant is expected due to the increase in production. Truck routing and the mitigation of safety and environmental risks should be determined and regularly re-evaluated in consultation with community organizations and public health experts.
REGULAR COMMUNITY MEETINGS in partnership with local and environmental organizations, to give updates on monitoring data, receive community feedback, and engage with residents on public health issues on a regularly scheduled basis.
These are six of the most frequent recommendations coming from residents in community meeting and discussions.
Next Steps: Sign the Petition
FCA has until the end of November, 180 days from the start of construction, to create and submit the plan. As that deadline moves closer, we’re asking all those concerned about Air Quality and Environmental Health to support the above recommendations and projects and sign the petition to FCA and EGLE. We will be canvassing with paper petitions or you can go online and to sign and share. https://bit.ly/33idbl9