Green Door Initiative Toxic Tour

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What is a Toxic Tour?

A Toxic Tour highlights specific locations where inadequate urban planning and poor decision-making by city officials negatively impact health and environmental outcomes for a given community. These sites contribute to the perpetuation of environmental injustice. The goal of the tour is to raise public awareness about these sites in an effort to motivate local, state, and federal officials to take action in shutting them down or take steps toward remediation. The Justice40rward Detroit Toxic Tour highlights areas of concern in the Detroit area.

GDI Solar Project – 20002 Russell St.

313 Solar, the solar manufacturing and assembly facility, is the center of GDI’s sustainable neighborhood project. As part of their ‘motor city to solar city’ efforts, GDI will expand their climate-smart job training and placement programs, including for returning citizens, and create a model sustainable neighborhood block — creating jobs installing solar panels and improving energy efficiency — to reduce energy insecurity.

Camp Restore Detroit Campus – 17100 Chalmers St.

Camp Restore Detroit is a faith-based ministry serving in the 9th Precinct of Detroit. Camp Restore Detroit serves with the community in environmental clean up, construction and support.

Eastside Community Network office – 4401 Conner St.

Eastside Community Network (ECN) has been actively working with community leaders in southeast Detroit for over 35 years. Through the Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP), ECN has engaged neighborhood leaders and Sustainability Fellows, as well as technical experts, environmental advocates, and civic leaders and local institutions to address a broad range of sustainability issues.

Ambassador Bridge (major air polluter)


Vehicular traffic and associated road dust from the Ambassador Bridge has created poor air quality and associated health impacts. The Bridge is the most traveled international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume: more than 25 percent of all merchandise trade between the United States and Canada crosses the bridge. Communities near this site are concerned about continued air quality and health impacts.

Delray Community Center – 420 Leigh St.

Delray was a suburb annexed by the City of Detroit in 1905, and was a major center for industrial activity, with houses surrounding the factories so workers could walk to their jobs. As industrial jobs left southeast Michigan, many residents left the community of Delray. Its current residents are predominantly low-income people, about half are people of color, and many residents have either owned their houses for many years or have inherited their homes from parents and other relatives. The area has known poor air quality and associated health impacts.

Zug Island (major air polluter)

Zug Island houses several heavy industrial and power plants that frequently combust natural gas or other fuels likely to produce primary formaldehyde emission plumes. The area is one of the most polluted places in the state. The need for industrial land grew tremendously during the early twentieth century, and several blast furnaces for steel production were built on the island beginning in 1902. These steel mills have changed hands several times and were once owned by the now-defunct National Steel. Now called the Great Lakes Works, the mills are owned by United States Steel. Zug Island is one of only a handful of locations in the United States that produce coke, an ingredient used in the creation of steel. In recent years, residents of Windsor, Ontario have experienced a mysterious, “hum” or vibration coming from the American side of the river. Various media reports theorize Zug Island to be the source of this phenomenon.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation: Detroit Refinery – 1001S. Oakwood Ave.

This refinery is a significant air pollutant in Detroit. Marathon Oil requires the use of heavy diesel trucks through residential streets and pass by homes, schools, and healthcare facilities. The human health costs associated with these land uses are disproportionately borne by residents of Detroit, who experience high levels of diesel particulate from truck exhaust and associated health risks, including cardiovascular risk and rates of asthma that are nearly double those for the state of Michigan as a whole.

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