Michigan environmental regulators have slapped Stellantis once again with an infringement notice for one of its Detroit-based manufacturing plants. The automaker had previously been in trouble for violating a string of state environmental violations at its Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack (DACM) facility. But now it is being sued for violating its permit at the Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson (DACJ) formerly called the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, located just east of the Mack facility.
The Jefferson complex currently manufactures both the Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WL74) and Dodge Durango (WD).
According to the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the DACJ complex emitted more Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) per vehicle than its permit allowed during the month of September. It was found that 5.01 pounds of VOCs per vehicle were emitted on a 12-month rolling period, more than the 4.8 pounds that were allowed.
VOCs can combine with the air and create ozone, which makes it harmful to breathe and can lead to respiratory issues.
The DACJ facility received a $900 million investment to retool and modernize the plant to help produce the all-new two-row Grand Cherokee earlier this year. Because of the global semiconductor shortage, the plant has been operating at lower-than-normal volumes.
“The reduced production volume means that total VOC emissions from the facility are actually well below our permitted allowable emission rate; however, emissions per vehicle have increased because we are making fewer vehicles,” Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said in a statement. “Our painting processes and emissions controls are functioning properly, and there is no increased exposure risk to the community.”
Stellantis has until December 5th, to submit a written response to the Air Quality Division of EGLE with a remedy to fix the violation.
Source: Automotive News