‘Just inhumane’: Resident responds to Detroit Stellantis plant investigation into foul odor taking 90-days to complete

Local resident spotted wearing mask outside to avoid smell

Company issues statement in response to complaints about odor

DETROIT – Residents living near the Stellantis Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit have been complaining about a foul smell.

“I stay in the house most often. I looked out and seen you guys,” said Robert Shobe who lives nearby.

Shobe made a rare trip out of his home Tuesday and spoke with Local 4 News. Because Shobe needs someone to hear him he says that the plant, a football field from his home is making him sick.

“I don’t come out here anymore. I am a prisoner in my own home,” he said.

He has called the City of Detroit for help. Additionally, he’s called the automaker for answers.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Residents complain of foul, caustic odors from Detroit Stellantis plant

Shobe says he actually made a call to the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy of the State of Michigan on Tuesday.

“I actually called EGLE this morning,” said Shobe. “My eyes were burning, I smelled paint this morning.”

He has not got anywhere with the state’s environmental agency.

Stellantis recognizes fumes are coming from the new plant, but it doesn’t know what the fumes are that people continue breathing in or what is causing them in the first place.

Now the company has a plan to hire an engineering firm to investigate.

Shobe discussed his feelings about the company’s plans.

“To me, their plan is totally disregarding this community. For us to continue to breathe this for at least 90 more days before they make a decision, I think is just inhumane,” he said.

The company plans to report back on Jan. 9, 2022.

“Exactly, that’s three months from now. We now deal with this for the next three months,” he said.

Why such a long time to identify the fumes and fix the problem? Local 4 News asked Stellantis.

Here’s their response: “Ninety days provides the third-party the time to thoroughly monitor, study and evaluate a very complex process and offer appropriate mitigation strategies.”

“I am a prisoner in my own home I have been in for three months since the start of this,” said Shobe.

Shobe could be seen wearing a mask outside. He told Local 4 News it was not to protect himself from COVID-19 but from the smell.


About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.