EGLE approves GM-Hamtramck Assembly air permit application

After several virtual hearings and public information sessions beginning in May, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Air Quality Division (AQD) approved General Motors’ air permit application for the replacement of its current automotive assembly line with a new one on the border of Detroit and Hamtramck. 

The permit was approved with several changes in response to public comments and the AQD’s advice, including increased frequency of control equipment testing for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a change in the date that the existing assembly line needs to be shut down, and an additional emission control unit that was forgotten in the initial draft will be added. Public comments were accepted until May 29, 2020.

An air use permit is required for any development “that involves installing, constructing, reconstructing, relocating, or modifying most processes or process equipment that emit, or may emit, air contaminants” according to EGLE. 

In General Motors case, an air permit was required because the new assembly line required additions on the existing buildings—space that would be used for, among other things, “assembling the unpainted automobile, a paint shop for coating processes, and a general assembly area for putting the final vehicle together”

In evaluating the impact that this new facility would have on air quality, EGLE uses an air dispersion model which considers factors like wind direction and potency of emissions. The model wass used to determine whether emissions from the proposed plan would exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for NO2, PM10, and PM2.5.

In a press release in January, General Motors announced that the $2.2 billion dollar plant will be used to produce a variety of all-electric and autonomous trucks and SUVs,  and open up 2,200 new manufacturing jobs. 

Read more: EGLE documents and reports

Read more: Other coverage on the project


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