DETROIT -- The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy plans to fine Stellantis for multiple violations of air quality regulations at its assembly plants in Detroit and Warren.
Stellantis has been hit with four separate violations of state regulations for odors emanating from the Detroit Assembly Complex plant on Mack Avenue on Detroit's east side and improperly installed pollution-control equipment at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant on Mound Road.
In a letter Thursday, EGLE's Air Quality Division told the automaker formerly named Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that it would be required to enter into a legally enforceable agreement to "resolve these violations."
The enforcement agreement will include a "payment of an appropriate monetary penalty," Jenine Camilleri, enforcement unit supervisor in EGLE's Air Quality Division, wrote Thursday in an enforcement notice to the plant managers of the two assembly plants.
Fines for violations of air quality permits vary based on the kind of violation, duration and type of emissions and have not yet been determined in this case, EGLE spokeswoman Jill Greenberg said.
"The requirements in an air permit are necessary to protect the community," EGLE Air Quality Division Supervisor Chris Ethridge said in a statement. "If the permit is not followed, companies must be held accountable."
The automaker, created earlier this year by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, has noted its plants have not exceeded pollution limits as defined under state permits.
"While our plants continue to be in full compliance with the permitted emissions limits, we take full responsibility for remedying the concerns that have been raised as quickly as possible," Stellantis spokeswoman Jody Tinson said Thursday in a statement.
EPA assistance sought
EGLE also said it is enlisting the help of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct air quality testing around the Detroit Assembly Complex, which includes the Jefferson North Plant and the new Mack Avenue plant.
The state environmental agency's enforcement action against Stellantis began in late September after air quality inspectors responded to complaints from residents who live near the new Jeep assembly plant along Mack Avenue.
During three site visits, the state's air quality inspectors found paint odors to be "objectionable and of sufficient intensity, duration and frequency," according to a violation notice.
A second violation notice EGLE issued Oct. 20 cited the Mack Avenue plant for not properly ducting emissions through a system that destroys volatile organic compounds and prevents their release into the atmosphere, according to the violation.
"As previously communicated, we have a plan in place to address the ducting issue at Mack by the end of the year," Tinson said Thursday.
In response to the initial violation at the Mack Avenue plant, Stellantis said it is keeping access doors to the plant "closed at all times when not in use," tarps have been installed on de-watering boxes in the paint shop's sludge room "to minimize odors" and taken other steps to minimize odors from paint sludge.
Stellantis also has hired a third-party engineering firm to trace the source of the odors coming from the Mack plant's paint shop.
"We also have retained outside experts to help us identify the cause of the odor, and are working urgently to develop and implement a solution," Tinson said.