Justice for Beniteau Residents started meeting in 2019 in response to the expansion of Stellantis, then Fiat Chrysler FCA’s, Detroit Assembly Complex and the failed Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) process. The issues and our concerns are numerous:
- There isn’t a buffer and the stacks are too close to our homes.
- The use of public tax incentives and abatements to finance nearly half the cost of a private project.
- The CBA did not provide adequate protections or benefits.
- The land swaps that were a part of the deal were not revealed until after the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) signed the deal.
- The injustice of reducing emissions at a plant in Warren to turn them up in our back yards.
- The ongoing exposure to increased emissions since the summer of 2021 when production began.
Justice for Beniteau Residents encourage our neighbors to call the state’s pollution hotline every time they smell chemicals!
2019 – Gathering frequently, we created a formal statement, list of demands and a strategy to push back on FCA, decision makers at the city, and the state regulators at EGLE. With the support of Detroit People’s Platform we collected public health surveys throughout the “impact area”. We wrote a letter to EGLE and the Michigan Attorney General requesting support in the struggle for improved benefits and protections.
2020 – On Jan 6, 2020 we met with Mayor Duggan, who was ‘dismissive and disrespectful’. We worked with national partners Color of Change to launch an online petition demanding FCA address environmental racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. With national support and pressure from Color of Change, a delegation of Beniteau residents met with Ron Stalworth, Stellantis external affairs lead for Wayne County, who was also ‘dismissive and disrespectful’.
2021 – Working with Great Lakes Environmental Law Center we scheduled a meeting with EGLE and City of Detroit about asbestos and demolition violations that revealed failures in notification and education. Partnering with the Ecology Center we distributed Purple Air Monitors. We successfully interrupted the Chrysler Jeep Stellantis “Greenest Initiative” press conference. We worked on resolution unanimously approved by Detroit City Council requesting a meaningful Supplemental Environmental Plan (SEP) as part of the EGLE enforcement. In November 2021, residents filled a Title VI Civil Right Complaint with the EPA against EGLE.
2022 – We held a press conference in front of EGLE’s Detroit office demanding better outcomes from the enforcement process and consent order. We organized against the needed repairs being tied to approval of an insufficient Supplemental Environmental Plan(s).In August residents testified at the US Congressional Oversight Committee’s Field Hearing in Detroit.
2023 – We continue to call EGLE with complaints of illness and odors frequently. Justice for Beniteau Residents have recently had to fight to be included in discussions about potential outcomes and accountability.
Now that the crisis can’t be denied, and accountability is at hand, Mayor Duggan and Council Member Johnson are repeating many of the actions we have already taken without including those of us who led the fight. Justice for Beniteau Residents brought, carried,
are most impacted and will benefit from this fight!