Rep. Tlaib gets headache from pungent odor coming from Stellantis plant in Detroit


  • Phil Pasquini /
  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

The nauseating stench wafting from Stellantis’ year-old Jeep assembly plant in Detroit was so strong that U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib said she could "taste it" and ended up with a headache.

After receiving numerous complaints from constituents, Tlaib decided to check out the smell for herself on Wednesday and described the odor as “unbearable” and “disgusting.”

“I can taste it in my mouth, like on my tongue,” Tlaib said in a video posted on Facebook.

“A majority Black neighborhood should not have to live like this.”

The Jeep Grand Cherokee plant on St. Jean on the city’s east side has emitted a stomach-churning stench for months. A state investigation found that the culprit is foul-smelling paint.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) issued Stellantis a second air quality violation notice for the odor last week, citing “persistent and objectionable paint/solvent odors of moderate to strong intensity.”

EGLE ordered Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, to correct the violation. The state agency also launched a website focused on air quality issues at Stellantis’ facilities in Michigan.

Tlaib said she plans to discuss the odor with state officials.

“This smell will not stop until we make sure the state environmental agency is responsible in holding [Stellantis] accountable and making sure they are not outputting what they agreed not to,” Tlaib said.

“I’m going to make sure the governor and the state agency understand that this is getting out of control.”

EGLE tells Metro Times that state officials are committed to ensuring Stellantis corrects its air quality violations.

“EGLE take all complaints seriously,” Mary Ann Dolehanty, director of EGLE’s Air Quality Division, says. “When concerns arise, like the odors some residents are experiencing from Stellantis, our staff investigates and sometimes this leads to EGLE issuing a violation notice. This is an important part of holding a company accountable and fixing the problem as soon as possible.”

Stellantis launched a hotline to report odors. The toll-free line is 833-310-2313.

“Please call the number and report them,” Tlaib encouraged residents impacted by the odor.

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