Fiat Chrysler Call to Action – Contact Michigan Dept. EGLE

November 1, 2019

Call to Action:
Detroit People's Platform Members and Supporters

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) must take action to protect Detroit residents.

For the last month Eastside residents collected nearly 1,000 signatures on an Air Quality petition with recommendations for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). EGLE will be considering Fiat Chrysler’s Environmental Community Benefits Plan for their new assembly line and paint plant.

The People's Air Quality Petition recommends:
✅ $12.5 M into the public health fund
✅ air monitors @ schools, senior bldgs, Head Starts
✅ air filtration @ schools, senior bldgs, Head Starts
✅ vegetative buffers designed with experts
✅ truck routing based on residents' input
✅ regular community mtgs

Since Chrysler will receive up to $400 million dollars in public tax support, we believe this is the least of what they owe our community.  Black residents should not be forced to choose between their health and possible jobs. Due to the fact that Fiat Chrysler is decreasing pollution in Warren so that they can increase it in our back yards. EGLE has required that Fiat Chrysler create this plan for additional monitoring and community benefits.

Fiat Chrysler has not been open or transparent with their environmental plan.  They have been selective about who they talk with in the community and they have been disrespectful to those who express the legitimate need for additional protections.

Residents deserve to be protected by our government - We call on EGLE to require FCA produce an environmental community benefit plan that includes state of the art air quality filters and monitoring systems placed throughout the impact areas.

We are asking you to make a phone call to EGLE. Ask them to share Fiat Chrysler’s Environmental Benefits Plan with the community once they receive it and for EGLE to conduct a public hearing or public comment process on the FCA environmental benefit plan before EGLE approves the plan.

Take Action
Call EGLE Director Liesl Eichler Clark

  1. Demand that EGLE release the FCA Environmental Plan to the community when it is submitted for approval and
  2. Demand a public hearing or comment process before approving the plan.

Liesl Eichler Clark
EGLE Director

Thank you

Important Points:

Detroit and all of Wayne County are currently out of federal compliance with sulfur dioxide and ozone standards. The Fiat Chrysler assembly line and paint plant will increase VOC emissions which contribute to respiratory and other health issues.

The immediate area surrounding the plant is 94% Black. FCA will be "offsetting" increased emissions in the "impact area" by reducing emissions from a plant in Warren, a predominantly white suburb. This is textbook environmental racism.

7.3% of annual deaths in Wayne County are due to criteria pollutants and air toxics. 11.3% of our children countywide have asthma, and the numbers are worse in our most polluted neighborhoods near heavy industry. The Zip Codes in the FCA impact have some of the highest Asthma hospitalization rates in the city.

Press Coverage:


Fiat Chrysler (FCA) Community Benefits Agreement

Community Benefits Agreement Outcomes:
The CBA includes $5.8 million for Workforce Education, $1.8 million for Housing, $1.1 million in an Impact Neighborhood Fund and $0.1 million for Construction Impacts totaling only $8.8 million from FCA.

The most recent dollar amount of public funding and tax incentives that have been request by FCA are now up to $400 million.

Conclusion: The Fiat Chrysler Community Benefits Agreement and the process through which it was created were monumental failures.

The points below are not exhaustive but highlight and explain the strong dissent and disdain over this deal.

$8.8 Million is not enough Fiat Chrysler is a global corporation that earned $4.1 billion in 2018. Taxpayers have historically invested in FCA through multiple bailouts; one in which citizen lost $1.3 billion. Offering only $8.8 million dollars in community benefits from projects that will use up to $400 million in public investment is shameful. It is economic injustice.

Environmental Racism We are in what the Environmental Protection Agency calls a “non-attainment” area for certain pollutants. That means our air is so toxic that FCA has to reduce emissions elsewhere to increase them here. FCA will be increasing emissions in our 94% black community with high poverty and asthma rates while reducing emissions from a suburban plant in Warren.

Lack of Time, Transparency + Respect 
While the process replicated some aspects of previous CBO projects, the city was more heavy-handed in this deal. There was a greater presence of white residents in the Ford NAC than the FCA NAC, which was predominantly black. The Ford NAC was given greater self-determination and consideration than the FCA NAC.The FCA CBA process lasted only 7 weeks while the Ford CBA took 10. Multiple times in the process FCA threatened they would take the project elsewhere.

Land Swaps The FCA project’s associated land “swaps”, like the full extent of public investment, were not revealed until after the NAC signed off on the deal. In addition to the land, the city sold a downtown parking garage to cover costs. The full value of the land swaps  connected to the deal is unknown. The transfer of land without community input is unacceptable.*

30-year Tax Capture From Schools + The FCA expansion takes advantage of Michigan’s Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act that was lobbied for by Dan Gilbert and utilized on the Hudson’s site. After completion of the project FCA will pay themselves back for the cost of redeveloping the site by pocketing $93 Million from their employees’ paychecks over 30 years. $34 Million of that would have gone to school funding*. *

Due to the failures of Fiat Chrysler CBA we encourage residents to take a stand around the additional environmental community benefits included in Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) permitting process.