Marathon Petroleum | Michigan Radio
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Marathon Petroleum

Nathan Bishop

Federal lawmakers, two from Michigan and two from Illinois, have introduced bills that would require the federal government to address concerns about petroleum coke exposure.

Petroleum coke is a byproduct of refining crude oil. 

The legislation calls for federal agencies to complete a study of the health and environmental risks posed by petroleum coke. It also would require the implementation of federal safety regulations for the storage and transportation of petroleum coke. The standards would be based on the study's findings.

Nathan Bishop

People living near the Marathon refinery in southwest Detroit are calling for “more transparency” after a foul odor from the plant descended on surrounding neighborhoods Sunday.

The source of the odors was a malfunctioning flare gas system which allowed hydrogen sulfide and other compounds to be released into the air.

Residents sue Marathon refinery over pollution

Feb 23, 2016
user braun / Flickr

A lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court, claiming air contaminants, noise and odor from Marathon's refinery in southwest Detroit is causing a continuous nuisance that's harming people who live nearby.

The lawsuit is seeking class action status, damages of more than $5 million  for area residents, and a court order to stop Marathon from releasing contaminants into the air and to cut noise and odor.

James Fassinger / Stillscenes

Michigan Radio has had several reports on the petroleum coke piles along the Detroit River in southwest Detroit.

But to better visualize the situation, you should check out these stunning photographs.

James Fassinger, a freelance photojournalist, reported on the petroleum coke piles in “The human cost of Detroit’s petroleum Koch piles” on his website, Stillscenes.

Large piles of petroleum coke along the Detroit River have sparked concern from citizens and environmental groups.

The “petcoke” is a byproduct of the crude oil refinement process. This petcoke comes from the nearby Marathon oil refinery.

It’s really started piling up on two sites along the Detroit River only recently, as the nearby Marathon oil refinery has expanded to process more crude oil from the Alberta tar sands.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s only oil refinery is offering to buy out homeowners near its Detroit facility as it wraps up a major expansion project. The company is offering a minimum of $40,000, plus half a house’s appraised value. There’s also money to help people with moving expenses, and some other bonuses.