A months-long investigation has been completed.
This all began last August when residents began complaining about a mysterious odor coming from the Detroit Assembly Complex - Mack, home of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L. The massive 2.5 million square foot facility has been the subject of state and federal investigations to determine the cause of the smell and how it can be permanently stopped.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) slammed the facility's owner, Stellantis, with numerous violations for lacking proper emissions controls and air-quality permits. To its credit, the automaker fully cooperated with authorities and even hired a third-party engineering firm to investigate and draw conclusions, which were due earlier this month. Now, it seems those efforts have paid off.
The Detroit News reports that air sampling done by state and federal regulators has identified no immediate health concerns. A more extensive report is expected to be released in the near future, but the big question is whether area residents, whose homes are within walking distance of the plant, will agree with the report's conclusions. Their long-term health, they claim, is at risk and they rightly want guarantees the matter has been fully resolved.
In December, Stellantis began installing ducting that was previously lacking at the facility. It will also install additional emissions controls, though a permitting process with EGLE must be completed first.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued its own report on the matter in November and noted that its field investigators also noticed odors while conducting sampling. The chief concern is that pollutants like hydrogen sulfide, benzene, toluene, p-xylene, and methane were being emitted at dangerously high levels. The good news is that it appears this is no longer a concern. What remains to be seen is whether residents will develop any health issues caused by the odor prior to it being stopped.
Over a period of 13 days last October and November, 152 odor samples were taken from 42 different potential sources in the facility or nearby. The results clearly indicated pollutants were in the air and Stellantis had to act fast and efficiently.