Michigan battery factory closes for 6 weeks

Sep 7, 2013

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan factory that makes lithium-ion batteries for General Motors is halting production for up to six weeks because of a controversy over a chemical.

LG Chem spokesman Jeremy Hagemeyer says a chemical used to make batteries may not be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He declined to name it.

The EPA says it didn't order the shutdown but had recently issued a subpoena on LG Chem, seeking to learn what chemicals are used at the factory. Production began in July in Holland in western Michigan, with the first battery shipments expected by fall.

Hagemeyer says there will be no layoffs during the shutdown. He says the factory is a safe place. President Barack Obama was in Michigan in 2010 to welcome the factory.