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Some in Mid-Michigan community are opposed to an asphalt plant coming to the area

A man walks through a construction site during a training on heavy construction equipment in Conyers, Ga.
Branden Camp

Environmentalists in Genesee county said a proposed asphalt plant will harm an already vulnerable population of people.

Ajax Materials Corporation plans to build a plant near the border of Genesee Township and the City of Flint.

Anthony Paciorek is an environmental justice organizer at Michigan United.

“The chemicals that are going to be burned off are going to produce cancer, lung cancer, and higher rates of asthma. And that’s already going to affect a population that's been exposed to the ongoing environmental lead crisis.”

Paciorek said those chemicals will make it harder for neighbors to fight off infections ... like COVID-19.

He said Michigan United is seeking legal counsel to stop the company from getting a permit to build.

“There's a huge amount of industrial pollution in that area already. So like there’s a lot of elements in the fine particulates the Ajax asphalt plant would kick up. That would make the air unbearable for local residences.”

State officials said the air permit will include specific conditions to protect public health.

Ambrosia Brown is an engineer at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

“So for example, Ajax would have to operate a fabric filter to clean the air coming out of their mixed drum that would be a permit condition along with record keeping.”

Brown said EGLE is taking public comment on the project until September 7th.

There’s an online hearing on September 1st at 6 p.m. Attendees can choose to pre register at

Join by phone: Call 636-651-3142 and use conference code 374288.

If you can’t attend the online hearing, EGLE is accepting comments by voicemail at 517-284-0900 until September 7th.

Gena is a rising junior at Central Michigan University, double majoring in broadcast and cinematic arts and political science.