The manufacturer of Jeep SUVs says they will install more emission controls at their new Detroit plant after an analysis by a third-party technician found a high frequency of odor concentrations coming from the Grand Cherokees plant.
The timing of how soon these mitigation efforts can take place will depend on discussions with the state of Michigan regarding permit requirements and deadlines introduced through the enforcement process, Stellantis NV said. But they should help ensure that its activities do not result in “offensive odors”, according to the report.
The report was filed by Stellantis on Friday, and the report comes after the transatlantic automaker suffered several violations by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy for odors coming from the Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit and for missing emission controls required by air quality permits in a part of the paint shops at Mack and Warren Truck Assembly Plant. The car manufacturer says that the odors do not pose a health risk to residents in the area.
Stellantis installed the missing channel on Mack on Detroit’s east side last month and says it will have done so in Warren in February. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November escalated supervision of the car manufacturer, implemented a control plan and said that the company will be fined, although it has not specified how much. A community meeting is scheduled for later this month to share an update on EGLE’s investigation.
But even after the canal was installed, neighbors say the odors remain: “Out of a four, I would give it a two and a half with a four as the worst I’ve ever smelled,” said Robert Shobe, 59, of odors in the weeks since the canal was installed. Shobe, whose backyard is now looking at the new paint shop in the expanded Mack factory, has been a vocal critic of the company’s expansion in the neighborhood and its PR.
In response to the initial odor violation, Stellantis NV hired RWDI AIR Inc. to take 152 odor samples from 42 potential sources in and around the Mack plant for 13 days in October and November. The data collected was used by a third-party engineering firm to create a five-year model that indicated that the frequency of odor outside the plant at a concentration greater than 1 unit was 7.3% of the time during a “worse case” footprint, according to the report.
Neither Michigan nor the Environmental Protection Agency has a written standard or guide based on odor devices. Stellantis used the latest guidance from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in the assessment. This state of odor exposure over 1 odor unit is acceptable as long as their frequency is less than 0.5% of the time.
With the odor rate almost 7 percentage points above it, engineers looked at ways in which the frequency could be reduced to the recommended 0.5% of the time. Stellantis says that mitigation efforts should help ensure that operations do not create offensive odors, which EGLE defines as three or higher on its five-point odor scale. Violations of the Mack plant had left their odors at three and four, which are moderate to strong odors.
In addition to the duct installed at Mack last month that sends paint emissions to a regenerative thermal oxidizer control unit, which destroys potentially harmful pollutants, Stellantis will install a new and dedicated regenerative thermal oxidizer and channeling. The exhaust gases from two existing stacks will be led to this new system to destroy compounds that contribute to odor.
The company will also direct the clean air emissions from the existing concentrator to the stack of the new oxidizer. It says that this will improve the spread from increased speed and altitude. The concentrator removes the compounds and accumulates them in smaller volumes to be destroyed more efficiently. Other techniques will be used to reduce in specific areas that also resulted in odors.
EGLE has received Stellanti’s report and is reviewing the results, said spokeswoman Jill Greenberg. If it finds that the mitigation efforts are sufficient, they can be included in Stellanti’s enforceable control plan. If it is deemed insufficient, EGLE may require more details.