The Marathon Oil refinery in southwest Detroit is in the process of expanding its facility to process heavier crude oil from Canada.
The expansion brings the company's new refining equipment closer to Detroit's Oakwood Heights neighborhood.
Marathon has been offering to buy homes in this neighborhood to create a buffer zone between the refinery and other residential areas.
Some homeowners in Oakwood Heights have signed on with the buyouts, others have stayed put.
The Detroit News' Jim Lynch reports Marathon has upped the amount it's willing to pay:
This month, Marathon officials said 86 percent of the owners have chosen to enroll in the buyout program — meaning they are willing to have their home appraised and see a monetary offer from the company.
Marathon is sweetening the pot, too, as it initially set a minimum appraisal price of $40,000 per home but already has bumped that figure up to $50,000.
The buyout plan is expected to head off lawsuits from those who live in this area. So far, the program has avoided legal entanglements, but it has generated plenty of hard feelings.
Oakwood Heights is an area surrounded by heavy industry. In addition to the refinery, there's the city's sewage treatment plant, a salt mine, a steel factory, and other industries.