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Fiat Chrysler air permit approval with additional monitoring and community benefits

Fiat Chrysler air permit approval with additional monitoring and community benefits

On Friday, April 27, 2019, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) announced the issuance of Fiat Chrysler America (FCA) air permits with additional monitoring and community benefit requirements. 

In addition to land assembly, approval of the a community benefits package by the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC), zoning approvals and other planning, these EGLE permits are one of many moving parts to finalize the Fiat Chrysler expansion. 

  • The permits are for the installation of a new assembly line and emissions increase in Detroit’s Lower East Side and a reduction in emissions at their existing facility in Warren.
  • Both plants are within an EPA designated nonattainment area for ozone, which means that ozone levels are above national, health-based air quality standards.
  • Detroit’s Lower East Side has some of the highest asthma rates in the city.

Many impact area residents and environmental justice advocates submitted comments at the April 19th public hearing hosted by EGLE (then named MEDQ) at Southeastern High School. 

In the closing days of the negotiations around the community benefits package with Fiat Chrysler, resident concern about the environmental and health impacts of the plant and other pertinent issues came to the forefront.

The EGLE press release states; “As part of the public comment period and public hearing… there were several requests for air monitoring near the facility and for additional work with the community to identify projects that would have local benefit.” 

Mary Ann Dolehanty, EGLE Air Quality Division Director is quoted; “Those comments led to the inclusion of both additional air monitoring and community benefit requirements in the permits that were issued today.”

While we are still learning details about the planning and implementation of these aspect of the permits, we want to recognize the residents of the impact area who organized around these issues and spoke out about the reality of public health in their community to influence outcomes here. 

Along with residents and the environmental justice community, Equitable Detroit Coalition and Detroit People’s Platform will continue to monitor developments as this deal moves forward.

On April 24th the NAC approved $13.8 million in community benefits from Fiat Chrysler. We thank the NAC for their service. This phase of the CBA process with the NAC has ended, it now moves to city council. The committee of the whole is expected to vote on the Fiat Chrysler community benefits package approved by the NAC on Tuesday, May 7th.

The status of the land deal with the Moroun Family for the final 80 acres needed to assemble the land is still unknown.

Read the full EGLE press release: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDEQ/bulletins/2412a2c

Read Equitable Detroit Coalition and Detroit People’s Platform info sheets on the public tax incentives http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2019/04/fiat-chrysler-expansion-community-benefits-update/ and the environmental concerns http://detroitpeoplesplatform.org/2019/04/fca-expansion-environmental/ around the Fiat Chrysler expansion.

Thank you to Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and Breathe Free Detroit for support. 

Detroit People’s Platform is the host organization for the city-wide Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) coalition, Equitable Detroit. EDC emerged from the struggle for a CBA around the M1-Rail project in the  North End. We represent the overwhelming majority (80%) of Detroiters in the Fiat Chrysler impact area who voted for Proposal A in the 2016 election.