Ram and Jeep Assembly Plants Face Huge Environmental Fines and They Stink, Too
While Stellantis touts its environmental record in the auto industry of coming electric vehicles and the Jeep Wrangler’s 14 metric-ton carbon reduction, it is polluting and stinking up the air around some of its factories. Now, the EPA has fined Stellantis for repeated air quality violations at one Michigan plant, and for multiple odor violations at another. It raises concerns about how serious the automaker is about these environmental issues.
Which Ram and Jeep plants are violating air quality?
Let’s start with its stinky Mack Detroit Assembly Complex home to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. There are five violations since mid-2021 for the plant over odors that neighbors have complained about for years. The odors originate at the paint shop. By December 2021, Stellantis installed ducting to carry paint fumes to an oxidizer.
But more violations came in March and May of 2022. From there, Stellantis installed a second pollution control device. But Stellantis must also do other corrections to adjacent properties including a high school.
How much is Stellantis fined?
At Southeastern High School, the automaker must replace an overall management system. It will control lighting, mechanical, water, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. Stellantis will complete this later in the year. But there’s more.
Stellantis also must plant over 80 trees in Brewer Park located a few blocks from the plant. That project is almost complete. It must also pay fines of almost $300,000. Should there be delays, the courts can fine Stellantis up to $5,000 a day.
What Jeep and Ram vehicles are produced at Warren?
Now for the Ram plant. This involves numerous emissions violations by the Warren Truck Assembly Plant. This is where assembly happens for the Ram 1500 Classic and Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Particulate pollution is the majority of the violations. So far fines amounting to almost $400,000 have been levied.
It must also correct the pollution issues, and face a succession of emissions testing. Should it fail to follow the mandate to clean up emissions, it can be charged up to $5,000 a day. “The company has already taken a number of necessary actions to ensure that the plant operates within the permissible limits and will continue to work with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Air Quality Division on any outstanding issues,” a Stellantis spokesperson said.
How long has Warren been making trucks?
The plant opened a new paint shop at the facility in February 2021. This plant started producing trucks back in 1938, so it has a long history of truck manufacturing. Stellantis spent $1.5 billion to update the plant for bringing in Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer production.
The location of the Warren Truck Plant is a mix of commercial and residential properties. Michigan calls the area an “environmental justice” area with the combined pollution, poverty, and socioeconomic conditions according to the Detroit News.