Green Township residents slam Gotion over environmental secrecy
Leaders in Big Rapids get no answers from battery company on lack of environmental impact studies
The Legislature has dedicated $800 million in tax abatements and cash giveaways to Gotion, but local and state officials have yet to address area residents' concerns over the environmental impact of the company’s proposed battery plant.
Green Township officials have had to change the venue of what used to be sparsely attended board meetings in order to accommodate hundreds of constituents outraged by the imposition of a publicly subsidized factory owned by a People’s Republic of China-based company. Residents have asked many times for an environmental impact study on the proposed Gotion facility.
The requests so far have been left unanswered, Carman Bean, Big Rapids Township trustee, told Michigan Capitol Confidential.
Bean and other Big Rapids board members once considered the project for their township, which borders Green Township. They even approved a renaissance zone in a joint meeting with Green Township.
Bean now opposes the project, however.
He cites environmental concerns that have not been addressed and the battery company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently announced that Gotion is going to need to build its own sewage treatment infrastructure.
Hugh McDiarmid Jr., a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, said the department has not received permit applications and has limited information about the project.
“Therefore, we cannot provide comments on specific limits and requirements related to the Gotion project, at this time,” McDiarmid told CapCon via email.
McDiarmid said the project will be subject to Michigan’s environmental and permitting programs.
“Gotion will be expected to comply with those requirements before, during, and after construction,” McDiarmid said. “That would include any wastewater generated by the proposed plant.”
Green Township leadership did not respond to a request for comment.
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.