Green Charter Township resident Lori Brock is concerned about what a 3-million square foot Chinese battery plant may do to her neighboring pristine horse farm.
She has sought a state environmental study of the project, which will create battery components for electric vehicle batteries, according to Gotion High-Tech, the Chinese Communist Party-linked company looking to move to the middle of the state with the assistance of $715 million in taxpayer money and incentives.
But instead of CCP Gotion, it’s Brock who is now under investigation, a development that comes just days after she hosted a rally on her property in opposition to the project.
“I have 20 horses on a 150-acre farm,” Brock told The Midwesterner Monday, and said the department is alleging the horses “seem to be contaminating the property, which is ridiculous.”
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Brock built the farm 13 years ago in an area that has been zoned agriculture “forever.”
“This is just harassment,” she said, noting she’s never had any issues before.
Brock hosted hundreds of people at the horse farm April 22 to rally against CCP Gotion’s plans and those who are ignoring the community and working for it to become a reality.
On May 1, Brock was notified the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) would be visiting her property to investigate later this week after a complaint was filed with the agency.
“For 20 horses on 150 acres, there’s no way I’m in violation of anything,” Brock told The Midwesterner she said to the department agent who called to schedule the inspection.
Brock said she will not be intimidated by the state agency.
“Not in the least. It just pisses me off,” she said.
Watch the rally Brock hosted here:
It is not yet clear who will conduct the investigation of Brock’s property.
A member of the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program staff is Jarrod Thelen. An inquiry into the agency about whether he is related to Chuck Thelen, a vice president of CCP Gotion or Randy Thelen, CEO of The Right Place, an economic development agency pushing for the project, was not immediately returned.
Thelen was the government agent who signed an agreement with Green Charter Township Trustee Dale Jernstadt to release his farmland development rights to the state in 2021:
Jernstadt is now attempting to sell that property to CCP Gotion to be included in the massive development.