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E-M:/ Granholm Asked Intervene On Frieght Terminal

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                More information:
Friday, June 27, 2003                                                                                Karen Kavanaugh
                                                                                                                    313-842-0986 ext. 26
                                                                                                                    Kathryn Savoie

Community Request to Granholm:
Oppose Controversial Freight Terminal
Detroit City Council, community leaders take action

DETROIT—Southwest Detroit and Dearborn community leaders are asking Governor Jennifer Granholm to withdraw support for the proposed Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal (DIFT) following a second strongly worded letter Wednesday from the Detroit City Council in opposition to the controversial project.

The council’s first resolution opposing the project was passed unanimously by Detroit City Council in June 2002. Wednesday’s action added new language focusing on the negative environmental and health impacts of the project.   In its resolution, the Council asked Granholm to address the “traffic, environmental, health, safety, social and economic costs” of a project that “provides little or no direct benefit to the City of Detroit or neighborhoods surrounding the yard.”

Ishmael Ahmed, Executive Director of ACCESS in Dearborn, said he was hopeful that Governor Granholm would take seriously the concerns raised by the Council. “The Governor has shown an openness, and concern for families and urban communities, and we believe that she will support our efforts to protect the revitalization and growth that is occurring in Southwest Detroit and South Dearborn,” said Ahmed.

 “ We are very glad to see the Council restate their opposition to this project,” said Karen Kavanaugh of the Southwest Detroit Business Association.  “Although MDOT has added another potentially less problematic alternative to their study, the original proposal – for a consolidated terminal in SW Detroit – is still on the table, and is still MDOT’s preferred alternative. “

Wednesday’s council resolution also asks that MDOT modify the public participation process for the DIFT project, to more meaningfully involve members of the affected public. Both resolutions were sent to Granholm and Gloria Jeff, MDOT’s director.

MDOT says the proposed DIFT would bring up to 16,000 trucks a day into southwest Detroit and east Dearborn and require the demolition of at least 78 businesses and 74 homes.  The agency is conducting a federal Environmental Impact Statement on the project, but has refused to consider the community’s alternative proposal in its study. 


David Holtz
Communications & Development Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Drive, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
517-487-9539 ext.12 
517-487-9541 fax