The under-construction Ford EV battery plant known as BlueOval Battery Park Michigan has thus far faced its fair share of obstacles – some of them in the legal department. Shortly after it was announced, some residents in Marshall, Michigan – where the future Ford EV battery plant is being built – filed a petition over a grievance regarding some required rezoning in the area, which was ultimately shot down, and later filed a lawsuit in an effort to allow residents of the town to vote on the matter. Regardless, Ford received the legal OK to proceed with its construction, though the automaker recently chose to downsize its production plans as demand for EVs has cooled somewhat. Now, the legal challenges facing BlueOval Battery Park Michigan have officially been dismissed, according to The Detroit News.
Judge William Marietti of Calhoun County dismissed the amended complaint filed by the Committee for Marshall – Not the Megasite against the city of Marshall and the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA), though the committee has said that it will appeal the decision. Marietti noted that the committee – which is run by citizens of Marshall – is not legally qualified to argue for a breach of land transfer agreement, and noted that the city complied with all public notice requirements by holding a hearing on the proposed changes.
“This ruling is a major win for local jobs, local small businesses, and the entire Marshall community,” said MAEDA CEO Jim Durian. “With this lawsuit now dismissed and behind us, we look forward to keeping this important project moving forward as planned, because it will help Marshall recover from years of job and population losses, pump millions of dollars into our local economy, and create opportunities for young people so they don’t have to leave the area to find jobs.”
“It’s not unexpected based on previous ruling from the judge,” said committee spokesperson Regis Klingler. “Our plan is to appeal. This battle isn’t really against Ford. It’s against MAEDA, and the city restricting the right of people to petition to change an ordinance and restrict the amount of people who can collect signatures for that. We’re not totally against development if it’s in the right place and right size. We’re ready to continue our case. We think we have some strong points where the judge made a ruling that wasn’t quite right and not in line with the laws as our attorneys see it.”