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Chrysler: Asbestos, utility deposits

by David Zatz on

Detroit News’ David Shepardson wrote that the manager of a Chrysler contractor has been charged with not removing asbestos safely. One Accord Environmental Services of Detroit was paid to remove asbestos from part of the Plymouth Road Office Complex (PROC), a facility inherited from AMC (and by AMC from Kelvinator). PROC was the headquarters of Jeep-Truck Engineering until shortly before its sale.

PROC had made helicopters during World War II, and appliances as a Kelvinator factory.  According to an EPA agent, who was tipped off by an employee, project manager Hubert J. Bell did not use “proper procedures” for asbestos removal, and told employees to drain potentially contaminated water into the sewer system.

PROC was part of a parcel of properties sold for $2.3 million by the bankrupt “Old Carco” remains of Chrysler Group.

In other news, after trying to negotiate with Duke Energy, Chrysler is appealing to regulators to get its security deposit back from the power utility. Chrysler has filed a complaint seeking the return of $2.5 million, a deposit demanded by Duke Energy in 2009 under threat of cutting power. Chrysler said that its existing prepayment arrangement “effectively mitigated any risk to Duke” and noted that Duke is the only utility demanding a security deposit at this point.  Duke said it will keep the deposit until it has received 12 consecutive on-time payments, an S&P long-term credit rating of at least BB (or D&B credit appraisal of at least 3), and a positive internal review from Duke officials. The latter appears to be the primary sticking point.

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