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Rivian reaffirms commitment to Stanton Springs project
Rivian site
The Rivian site is shown in this photo from February 2023. - photo by Special Photo

GEORGIA – Weeks after it was announced that Rivian would be suspending construction in Stanton Springs, the electric vehicle (EV) company has reaffirmed its commitment to the paused project.

During the announcement of the R2 and R3 vehicles on March 7, Rivian announced it would be shifting its first line of R2 vehicle production to Normal, Illinois, citing both production efficiency and cost-saving measures. A press release stated that the EV company would save around over $2.25 billion from making the location change.

On March 22, a letter was sent on behalf of the Joint Development Authority (JDA) and the State of Georgia to Rivian outlining a number of concerns.

“This change in plans will require Rivian to promptly address issues concerning site conditions, site safety, and post-construction stormwater and hydrology, among other issues. We are providing this summary of near-term items that need to be addressed expeditiously…” the letter read.

The full 23-page document highlights a number of items in particular including various stormwater management plans, an additional hydrology study, the need to fund an environmental consultant, insurance obligations and site maintenance. 

At the end of the letter, a request was made for a response from Rivian by April 5 on the related items in the document while also requesting “monthly updates” thereafter.

A letter was returned to the State and JDA on April 18 that was signed by Rivian’s chief policy officer, Alan Hoffman.

In the letter, Hoffman explicitly states the intent for Rivian to fulfill its commitment to the Stanton Springs project.

“Rivian remains appreciative of the efforts of the State of Georgia (“State”) and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper County, Morgan County, Newton County, and Walton County (the “JDA,” and together with the State, the “Public Partners”) and Rivian looks forward to its ongoing partnership and positive relationship with the Public Partners,” the letter from Hoffman read.  “Rivian further remains committed to complying with all federal and state regulations with respect to environmental matters and is further committed to ongoing coordination with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.”

While vertical construction is not expected to start for some time, Hoffman said that Rivian will continue to make an effort on maintaining the site until vertical construction resumes.

“Rivian’s overall goal is to use the pause to prepare the Project to go vertical when the pause is lifted,” the letter from Rivian read. “During this period, Rivian agrees that Project security is of paramount importance with respect to the pause.”

An additional document from Rivian also promises that the EV company will provide “continuous communication and transparency” in the future of the project.

“Rivian recognizes this delay has created uncertainty, and we are committed to keeping people informed of our progress and plans,” per Rivian. “Rivian will continue to provide timely updates to our partners and the community during the pause and as we approach start of construction.”

Hoffman provided a statement to The Covington News summarizing Rivian’s commitment to the Stanton Springs project.

“These concrete actions demonstrate our continued commitment to the State and people of Georgia as we look ahead towards construction of our future facility in Stanton Springs North,” Hoffman said. “We are grateful for our strong relationship with the State, JDA and everyone in Georgia.”

The News also reached out to the JDA for comment and were referred to a statement posted on the State of Georgia’s website.

“Following Rivian’s announced pause in construction in early 2024, the below documents detail actions planned to maintain, secure, and ensure environmental compliance in agreement with the JDA and State,” per the statement. “Leading up to the start of vertical construction, activity at the site will continue with the contracted construction company, which will maintain a constant presence there.”