State environmental regulators issued an air quality violation notice to Stellantis NV for exceeding its emission limit at Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.
The plant, which makes Jeep and Dodge vehicles, was cited for an emissions rate of 5.01 pounds of volatile organic compounds per job in September, exceeding the limit of 4.8 pounds per job, according to a Monday report from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.
Stellantis said the violation stems from a retooling of the plant earlier this year for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The plant was operating at reduced volumes due to the ongoing microchip shortage.
“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 an email.
Tinson said the plant’s painting processes and emission controls are functioning properly.
Stellantis has racked up more than half a dozen air quality violations in the past year, though the bulk of them have been at its new Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit, where a paint shop has been spewing objectionable odors into the neighborhood.
The automaker has been awaiting the state’s approval of a proposal to install a regenerative thermal oxidizer, which it said will solve the odor issue. The state said Stellantis’ proposal also comes with a request for particulate emissions increases, which requires further review.
In late September, EGLE and Stellantis reached a tentative agreement on a proposed consent order that called for a fine of $62,863, installation of the pollution-control equipment and neighborhood improvement projects. It was subject to community scrutiny earlier this month
“EGLE is continuing to work on the response to comments document and finalizing the consent order for Detroit Assembly Complex Mack,” EGLE spokeswoman Jill Greenberg said in an email. “We are expecting to finalize the consent order before the end of the year.”