NewsFlint Water Crisis


Residents blast plan for more refinery pollution

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2021-01-14 16:00:04-05

Detroiters are furious over the prospect of Marathon's oil refinery releasing more pollution in southwest Detroit.

Marathon's representatives declined to speak with 7 Action News, but they got an earful from the community on Thursday night at a public meeting.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called out the oil refinery in front of a packed community center. He's threatening to file a lawsuit if the state's Department of Environmental Quality grants Marathon's request. 

Many people in the crowd were angry, too - saying their health is being put at risk.

The DEQ still hasn't ruled on a recent permit application from Marathon.

Publicly, the company is requesting a permit to increase emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and other chemicals considered pollutants at their refinery.

Marathon insists they are still within federal safety regulations, but given what's also happening in Flint with the water crisis, public trust in state government is at an all time low.

The next step is up to the state and it will affect other neighboring cities also in Wayne County.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans released the following statement late Thursday: 

After consulting Wayne County’s public health and air quality experts, I am disturbed by the potential environmental effects if the Marathon Detroit Refinery is allowed to release more pollutants into the air. Permitting increased levels of sulfur dioxide and other harmful chemicals into the air would further threaten the quality of life of thousands of Wayne County residents. It is critically important that residents are heard and taken seriously in this process. As we’ve learned from Flint, ignoring a community’s environmental concerns can have tragic consequences. I will attend tonight’s Detroit City Council public hearing to support concerned residents and to help, in any way I can, ensure their voices are heard.