Why is it urgent that we stop AJAX?
Even after hearing our community's resistance, AJAX Materials Corporation plans to build a polluting asphalt plant in Genesee Township, MI across from a Flint neighborhood with many children and public housing, and close to Genesee Township neighborhoods and much-loved Genesee County Parks.
Asphalt plants literally stink and make people sick. They release toxic pollution into the air, greatly increasing the chance that workers and neighbors will get asthma and cancer. They bring hundreds of noisy trucks onto local streets, wearing them out. Asphalt plants cause property values to decline, affecting residents' financial health.
Polluting companies build their plants next to Black, Indigenous, People of Color and low-income people -- or wherever they can go without much push-back. AJAX wants to build its plant next to the Genesee Power Station incinerator (on Energy Drive, off of Carpenter Rd.), which nearby residents believe is causing frequent asthma and cancer in their neighborhoods. The area also suffers from other polluting industries, both in the same industrial park and along Dort Highway. Residents here often have to go to the hospital due to asthma attacks and other breathing issues. Our neighborhoods can’t take one more!
COVID-19 makes anyone with lung problems vulnerable to an early death, and Flint residents have extra health challenges from the water crisis. Enough is enough!
The solution is simple: Ajax must choose to build the plant on a brownfield located far away from neighborhoods.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE) must deny Ajax's request for a permit to build the plant on Energy Drive. EGLE is scheduled to publicly announce its decision on the permit by Monday, November 15, 2021 - but it still has not done its due diligence by requiring a "cumulative impact analysis" - that is a study of all the sources of pollution in and around Energy Drive to fully understand the risks and impacts of adding more pollution. Doing this study is essential before making a decision on this permit.
If Ajax and EGLE don't do the right thing, they are intentionally committing acts of environmental racism.