“Today, I am submitting my public comment regarding the Ambassador Bridge second private span proposal to the United States Coast Guard. An excerpt of my letter is attached.
‘Since January 2015, I have had the wonderful honor of serving Michigan’s House District 6, which includes part of Southwest Detroit and the host community for the current Ambassador Bridge. I urge the Coast Guard not to move forward on the proposed permit for a second private span unless two conditions are met:
- The Detroit International Bridge Company has written documentation regarding approval by the National Park Service and Michigan Department of Natural Resources to use Riverside Park land for non-recreation purposes; and
- A full Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is conducted and results in a finding of no significant impact.
‘Southwest Detroit is a vibrant region of the city with many diverse neighborhoods but its fair share of economic, public health and environmental justice issues. For example, 48216, the ZIP code where the current Ambassador Bridge is located, has one of the highest rates of persistent asthma for children covered by Medicaid. From the Marathon Refinery to the Ambassador Bridge, Southwest Detroit is home to and surrounded by a number of polluting sources that have resulted in poor air quality.
‘I am extremely concerned that a second private span would result in increased truck traffic and therefore, more diesel exhaust emissions throughout our Southwest Detroit neighborhoods. We simply cannot allow more air pollution in the region – the health of our children, seniors and families demand it.’
“Below are the main concerns I have with the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project permit. These concerns are detailed further in the comments I am submitting today to the United States Coast Guard:
- The Bridge Company does not have the land it needs in Detroit to build a second private span.
- The environmental assessment for the ABEP and the proposed Finding of No Significant Impact is incorrect, because it is based on outdated data, wrong assumptions, and procedural errors. In addition, a long-term transportation project of this magnitude and with close proximity to residential neighborhoods, schools and parks deserves a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS).
- A second Ambassador Bridge private span would put the public health of our residents at risk, in a set of neighborhoods that are already heavily polluted.
- The soil at Riverside Park is contaminated and would require would require extensive remediation near the Detroit River before any construction of a second private span.
- Cumulative impact needs to be studied in Southwest Detroit as the second private span permit is being considered. The environmental assessment was conducted prior to the progress with the Gordie Howe International Bridge and the expansion of the Marathon refinery.”
 Wasilevich EA, Lyon-Callo S, Rafferty A, Dombkowski K. “Detroit – The Epicenter of Asthma Burden.” Epidemiology of Asthma in Michigan. Bureau of Epidemiology, MI Department of Community Health, 2008.