Beniteau in the News

Learn More

Beniteau in the News

November 2021

October 2021

  • The Detroit News – October 28, 2021 – UAW requests meeting with Jeep maker over Detroit plant violation “Detroiters living in the Mack Assembly Plant’s shadow say they are worried about the potential effect on their and their families’ health. “Our membership is just as concerned with the health (and) safety of our community as the safety of our plants,” Estrada said. “Environmental justice goes hand in hand with workers justice. They are one in the same for the UAW.”
  • Fox 2 Detroit, October 27, 2021 -State issues violation to Stellantis plant in Detroit, responding to residents’ fume complaints “Residents on Beniteau Street, on Detroit’s east side, say their street stinks and it’s because of the Stellantis plant – and a state environmental department agrees. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy issued a violation to Stellantis on September 20th for paint odors stinking up the neighborhoods and another one this Monday.
  • “Detroit Free Press, October 27, 2021 – Detroiters protest Stellantis Mack plant after state issues new emissions violation notice “Nearby residents have been raising concerns about odors coming from the plant for months. Kenneth Holloway, 55, who lives on Beniteau near the plant, said he had to take his wife to urgent care a few days ago because of the smell, and he’s frustrated that residents aren’t getting better support from the city and company.”
  • The Detroit News, October 27, 2021 – EGLE hits new Jeep plant in Detroit with 2nd violation for chemical emissions Residents living along Beniteau Street bordering the plant – some who now look upon the facility from their backyards – have complained about chemical and metallic smells from the plant and irritations to eyes and skin since it began producing vehicles. They have petitioned the company and protested at its events, demanding the automaker do more to protect its neighbors. “My breathing, it’s worse than it used to be,” Tammy Hurt, 55, who’s lived on Beniteau for almost 16 years, said during a demonstration outside the plant on Wednesday with a sign reading, “Environmental Justice for All.”
  • WDET, October 27, 2021 – Detroiters Call for Stellantis to Clean Up the Air Around Jeep Plant on City’s East Side Kenny Holloway lives on Beniteau Street right next to the plant. He says he doesn’t feel like city leadership is listening to his concerns.  “I’ve been at meetings at City Council. I’ve been at meetings with Duggan and all we do is get a banana in the tailpipe over here,” Holloway says.  Eden Kasmala, who is with the activist group Detroit People’s Platform, says promises made by the automaker – and the city - are being broken.
  • Michigan Radio, October 27, 2021- Detroit Stellantis plant hit with more air quality violations, has three weeks to fix problem – Eden Kasmala is with the activist group Detroit People’s Party. “When this plant was presented to residents in the community benefits process, it was presented to us as the greenest and it would be one of the greenest plants in North America,” Kasmala said. “Right and the emissions were going to be low. And I’ll be frank, they made me feel like I was crazy for being concerned about what was happening in our backyard.”
  • Crain’s Detroit Business, October 27, 2021 – State regulator hits Stellantis with second air quality violation at Jeep plant in Detroit Residents near the plant have complained of foul odors being emitted from the complex, including Robert Shobe, 59, who lives on the corner of Beniteau and Canfield streets with a backyard that backs up to the plant. “I’ve been a prisoner in my home for at least the last four months because I only come out when I have to,” Shobe told Crain’s on Wednesday at a media event organized by Detroit People’s Platform a block away from the plant.
  • WDIV, Local 4, October 27, 2021 – Residents protest odor from Mack Assembly plant; State cites Stellantis Residents gathered on Wednesday to protest odor from the Mack Assembly plant.
  • Detroit Metro Times, October 18, 2021 – Amid foul odor, Detroit residents demand meeting with Stellantis but are rebuffed “Residents and activists collected more than 5,000 signatures on a petition that calls on Stellantis to meet with Detroit residents “to negotiate for environmental and health protections for area residents.” On Monday morning, they tried to deliver the petitions to executives at Stellantis’ headquarters in Auburn Hills. But when they arrived, they were stopped by security, and no one would accept the petitions.
  • Detroit Free Press, October 12, 2021 – Stellantis hires firm to check Mack factory odor complaints, says equipment worked properly “The plant manager at Stellantis’ Mack assembly factory in Detroit has told state regulators that the company has hired an engineering firm to conduct an investigation into recent odor complaints and that the facility’s emissions control equipment was working properly… The letter laid out a series of steps the company has taken and intends to take moving forward:

    • Starting an odor complaint review process, where complaints are logged and conditions are evaluated.
    • Installing tarps on the “de-watering boxes located in the paint sludge room” and ordering automatic exterior roll-up doors.
    • Monitoring the painting process equipment to identify operating conditions that might cause odors to escape into the general building atmosphere and potentially be discharged through the building ventilation system.
    • Setting up a dedicated line for community members to report odor concerns directly to the company.
  • The Detroit NEWS, October 11, 2021 – Stellantis hires investigators, to set up hotline after odor violation “The investigation by the engineering firm is expected to be completed by Jan. 9 and will be shared with EGLE. In the meantime, the automaker is investigating on its own and setting up a hotline community members can call directly when they have a complaint. A routine monitoring program “several times a day” has been implemented on the edge of the Mack site to help determine trends and sources of the odors, according to the response from Michael Brieda, Mack’s plant manager. The company ordered automatic exterior roll-up doors to keep west-side accesses closed except when in use and has installed a number of new systems and equipment in its paint shop that it hopes will minimize odors and alert operators when conditions aren’t optimal.”
  • Deadline Detroit, October 10, 2021- Property Values Over Public Health? Duggan Told Neighbor Of Toxic Detroit Jeep Plant He’d Thank Him Later “In April, Beniteau resident Robert Shobe told Duggan about the residents’ predicament, asking for the mayor’s help in developing a quicker means of communication with residents in the case of a spike in emissions rather than “us hearing their alarms and bells going off and we have no idea what’s going on.” Duggan told Shobe not to worry. “You may not be happy with me yet, but I am gonna predict that the property values on Beniteau are going to rise about as fast as any in this city, certainly what we’ve done already has been remarkable but we are also going to target going into the abandoned houses and fixing them up,” Duggan said. “I think it is going to significantly raise the value on the block and I think you’re going to get the chance to get out of there.”

  • Deadline Detroit, October 8 2021 – Strong Odors: Detroit’s Jeep Plant Has Until Monday To Address State Violations “The automaker assembling and painting Grand Cherokees on Detroit’s east side is slapped with state environmental violations for “persistent and objectionable paint/solvent odors” affecting nearby residents. Stellantis was cited last month by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) after three visits by Air Quality Division inspectors in late August and September.”

  • WDIV 4 Detroit, October 7, 2021 –Residents complain of foul, caustic odors from Detroit Stellantis plant “It’s a burning in my throat,” said Victoria Thomas. “It’s like a chemical burn.” Thomas said her throat hurt so much, she called the assembly plant Thursday. She said the fumes from the plant actually hurt her throat and eyes. The new plant makes Jeep Grand Cherokees and employs thousands of people. It’s such a key part of economic development for the city that Mayor Mike Duggan gave his 2021 State of the City address inside the plant.

  • Detroit Free Press, October 7, 2021 – What stinks? Stellantis plant neighbors concerned about odors as state issues notice “When Robert Shobe was asked to describe the smell he said comes from the Jeep assembly plant near his house on Detroit’s east side, the word he used was “metallic.” It’s as much a feeling as a pure smell. He said neighbors describe the sense of having metal in their mouths. Shobe, however, said he has other worries, too. “I’m afraid of what we don’t smell,” said the 59-year-old, whose house and yard are separated from the Detroit Assembly Complex – Mack plant’s paint shop by a concrete wall. Shobe, who said he suffers from chronic back issues and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said he generally avoids going outside at certain times and only cuts his grass on days when he knows odor is not going to be a problem, which is tough since he guessed the odor, often compared to that of paint, is there most of the time.
  • M Live October 7, 2021 – Detroit Jeep assembly plant odors prompt complaints, citation  “We’ve been smelling things and we’ve had people around here going to the hospital, children going to the hospital for asthma, breathing attacks, coughing attacks, tightness of the chest,” said Robert Shobe, who lives on Beniteau Street. A group called Justice for Beniteau Residents has been encouraging neighbors to call the state’s pollution alert hotline (1-800-292-4706) when they smell odors.

  • Fox 2 Detroit, October 5, 2021 – Residents complain of Stellantis Jeep plant’s chemical odors on Detroit’s east side “We’ve been smelling things and we’ve had people around here going to the hospital, children going to the hospital for asthma,  breathing attacks, coughing attacks, tightness of the chest,” Shobe said. “You know the smell and the fumes from the paint,” said Lonnie Carter. “One day we had a Beniteau meeting down here – actually last Friday. And during the time we had the meeting, you could smell the paint, it smelled bleachy, and my eyes were burning. And I didn’t know where it was coming from, then I figured out it was coming from the plant.” Residents like Carter and Shobe claim the city has been ignoring their complaints about the plant.”

September 2021

  • The Detroit News, Sept 20, 2021 – EGLE hits new Jeep plant in Detroit with odors violation “Beniteau Street residents like Robert Shobe, 59, whose backyard now backs up to the plant’s site and faces the new paint shop, however, say the company isn’t living up to its commitments. He was one neighbor who complained to the EGLE. “It’s burning eyes, a cough,” Shobe said he feels when he is outside. “My nose burns. It has been bad enough to send me to the bathroom. It’s like we’re throw-away people. This is a new cancer, asthma, COVID alley. They need to do something to make sure people can live safely.”
  • The Detroit News, Sept. 9, 2021 – Some residents living in shadow of new Jeep Detroit plant aren’t happy. Here’s why “Nearly 4,000 people in a week signed a petition Shobe started with the help of the Detroit People’s Platform and racial justice nonprofit Color of Change. It calls upon the automaker to do more for community members, saying the project, which includes the $900 million forthcoming updates to the adjacent Jefferson North Assembly Plant, received hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local incentives.”

June 2021

  • NATIONAL: Grist  June 17, 2021 – Detroit’s first new assembly line in 30 years will compound pollution in Black neighborhoods “We’ve bailed out FCA multiple times” an organizer for the advocacy group Detroit People’s Platform and a resident in the neighborhood surrounding the assembly complex, told Grist. “And here we are on the eastside of Detroit, giving them another almost half-a-billion dollars for a plant that is in the middle of a high-poverty, high-asthma, 90 percent-Black neighborhood.”
  • Planet Detroit, June 17 2021 – A tale of two census tracts: Why do people live longer in West Bloomfield than on Detroit’s east side? “In late April, Shobe took his concerns over pollution and property value to a virtual neighborhood meeting hosted by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and asked for the city to buy out Beniteau residents who now had FCA as a next-door neighbor. The mayor did not share Shobe’s concerns: “What we’ve done already has been remarkable,” Duggan told Shobe. “When you one day sell the house for a good price just send me a note to say that I wasn’t so bad.”
  • The Detroit News June 3, 2021 – Protesters crash Stellantis’ $1M environment initiative announcement “Roughly a dozen residents of Beniteau Street and demonstrators with the Detroit People’s Platform carried signs and chanting “Beniteau can’t breathe” during the morning news conference that included the planting of a disease-free elm. They alleged environmental racism by Stellantis and called for greater action to be taken with respect to pollution from the plant and assistance for home repairs.”
  • Fox 2 Detroit (Video) June 3, 2021 – Activists bristle over Stellantis green initiative at Detroit Assembly Complex “But activists from the Detroit People’s Platform believe the automaker’s initiative doesn’t go far enough and that emissions from the plant are making residents sick. “This is an asthma neighborhood,” said Robert Shobe, activist.”I have COPD myself.” This community activist says the company’s green initiative is nothing more than a bandage on a big problem. “You are about to dump pollutants and different things that you would not put in another area if you had affluent people – people with a few dollars,” said Shobe.”

January 2021


  • The Great Lakes Beacon December 16, 2020 – Fiat Chrysler: Detroiters Deserve Better “The Great Lakes Beacon reporter Evan Kutz discussed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ controversial Mack Assembly Plant with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Stephanie Chang, Gregg Newsome of Detroit People’s Platform, Nick Leonard of Great Lakes Environmental Law Center & Beniteau resident Robert Shobe.”
  • The Detroit News September 17, 2020 – City of Detroit: FCA not at fault for delayed home repairs near new plant “Robert Shobe, a 58-year-old Beniteau resident, has seen repairs in recent weeks being done on his neighbor’s bathrooms and porches. His foundation has shifted from the vibrations during construction, he says. He is considering getting his porch repaired, but with the assembly plant slated to begin production in the first quarter of 2021, he would prefer to leave.”
  • Detroit Free Press March 6, 2020 – Detroit’s hulking sound barrier prompts Berlin Wall comparisons “Beniteau Street is a showy reminder of faded stability, with its mix of empty lots and blighted houses, some of them suffering visible collapse, as well as well-maintained houses. Homes are in line for $15,000 grants for repairs as part of a community benefits agreement negotiated with the company, but some residents say that falls short when many homes are so damaged, and it will likely be even harder now to sell properties if residents want to move. They say vibration from the construction has damaged some homes even more.”
  • Curbed Detroit, March 5, 2020 – Detroit mural project outside FCA plant sparks concerns about ‘artwashing’ “Many residents also feel that another item in the Community Benefits Agreement, a $15,000 grant allocated per household for home repairs, is insufficient. Kat Jones, who has lived on Beniteau Street most of her life, says her neighbors are suffering from poverty, asthma, and other issues, and that the money won’t even be enough to mitigate harm from the plant’s expansion. “It’s fluff,” Jones says of the grant. “It does nothing to fix the deeper issues in this community. It’s like a bandaid over a bullet wound.”
  • Deadline Detroit, February 18, 2020 – Detroit Artists Boycott FCA Factory Mural, A ‘Cover’ For Neighborhood ‘Destruction’ “But the Beniteau group, which says it represents the majority of residents along the street closest to the factory, says that’s not enough. “Our foundations are being further damaged by the vibrations from construction and increased truck traffic. Windows that were solid before construction are now damaged and won’t seal,” a statement from the group says. “We need more money.” Specifically, they want Fiat Chrysler to cover the cost of foundation repairs, new windows and roofs, and air-quality certified central air and furnaces.”


  • Michigan Radio October 28, 2019 – Some in the shadow of new Detroit FCA plant want more protections, guarantees “Derrell Sistrong, a 13-year resident of Beniteau Street, says he hopes both government and industry listen to people in the impacted neighborhoods. “I just hope they don’t take it as a joke, because it’s too serious of a matter,” Sistrong said. “Everybody’s gonna lose if we don’t stick together and make something happen.”
  • Michigan Radio July 26, 2019 – Detroit’s east side is already polluted. Will Fiat Chrysler make it worse? “In the meantime, activists are knocking on residents’ doors to take inventory of who has breathing problems. They plan to present this information to Fiat Chrysler. According to Gregg Newsom, who’s been involved with the survey effort, the group is still working out how exactly it will use this information but it may request that Fiat Chrysler regularly issue air filters to homes where people have respiratory issues. For now, EGLE has said that Fiat Chrysler can proceed with its plan to offset emissions in Warren. Which is why construction can be heard from Beniteau Street in Detroit.”

  • WDET July 15, 2019 – Walking Beniteau Street in prelude to Fiat Chryslers. plant expansion “She went to the meeting developers held downtown to understand more about the plans, and offer community input. Nine community meetings like this were scheduled. But Lloyd says these opportunities are limited for citizen engagement. “It makes no difference what we think about it,” she says. “It’s a done deal.”

One thought on “Beniteau in the News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *