The Beniteau Accord
To be presented December 15, 2021 - An accord is an agreement in which involved parties support a goal; in this case shared demands and the desire for better outcomes for Beniteau and all residents living around the Detroit Assembly Complex.
We, the residents of Beniteau Street named below, demand accountability, relief, and remedy for the multiple harms that have impacted our air quality and quality of life due to the expansion of the Mack Ave. and Jefferson North assembly plants into the massive Detroit Assembly Complex.
Over the last two years, through a pandemic, the Justice for Beniteau Residents have hosted over 25 meetings. We have attended meetings, written elected officials, launched petition campaigns, filed a Civil Rights Complaint with the EPA against the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), and advocated wherever possible.
In 2019, we created a statement and list of demands that have been our guide. While we stand by our existing statement and demands, now that our concerns have been validated through violations these are our priorities:
- Immediate emergency relief for those living through serial violations. including but not limited to: emergency housing, windows, roof repair, weatherization, HVAC improvements, air purifiers and filters, public education, and medical and health services.
- Individual needs assessments to determine restorative remedies. In addition to assessments to determine the most impacted and most vulnerable, individual assessments are needed to determine adequate remedies. We believe assessments not included in planning or permitting are essential to correcting course and determining remedies. It is also vital that assessment be considered as part of the City and EGLE’s responsibility, not a remedy.
- Based on assessment, significant repairs to make our homes safe to live in. $15,000 is not enough money to make the necessary repairs to give us some protection from exposure to increased pollution.
- Based on assessment, successful voluntary relocation. Rightly so, some of us want to leave and no longer want to be exposed to increased pollution and other issues that come with the decision to expand an industrial project into our backyards. We want to relocate with the support needed to do so successfully.
Since the beginning of the project, we have raised concerns about this expansion and its impact on our air quality and quality of life. We also know historically that Black and Brown communities like ours are targeted for this kind of pollution.
The Detroit Assembly Complex expansion was approved based upon economic promises and flawed engineering models rather than the environmental, health and economic impact on Detroiters and those of us on Beniteau. This project is a textbook example of environmental racism and now we are being made to live in and through violation after violation.
We demand the City of Detroit, Detroit City Council, EGLE and Stellantis hear us, take responsibility for their role in this injustice, take action to correct course through assessment, and implement home repairs and voluntary relocation as remedies.
Justice for Beniteau Residents