Marathon oil refinery http://michiganradio.org en New permits loosen standards for two of state's biggest polluters http://michiganradio.org/post/new-permits-loosen-standards-two-states-biggest-polluters <p>This week, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued updated permits for two of Michigan’s biggest polluters.</p><p>The Severstal steel plant in Dearborn and the Marathon oil refinery in southwest Detroit are some of the biggest industrial facilities in the state.</p><p>Both have failed to comply with their state air quality permits. Marathon has had a handful of past environmental violations. Severstal's record is worse—they’ve been cited 38 times in five years for violating their state permit.</p><p>Yet the state has let both Severstal and Marathon “revise” those permits, and agreed to loosen restrictions on some types of emissions.</p><p>That process has raised some concerns about how the state regulates polluters.</p><p>Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek has looked into some of those concerns, and I spoke with her for today's Environment Report.</p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 18:56:06 +0000 Rebecca Williams 17618 at http://michiganradio.org New permits loosen standards for two of state's biggest polluters Two of Michigan's biggest industrial polluters get "updated" permits http://michiganradio.org/post/two-michigans-biggest-industrial-polluters-get-updated-permits <p>State environmental officials have agreed to update air quality permits for two of the state’s biggest and most polluting industrial facilities.</p><p>Dearborn’s Marathon oil refinery and Dearborn’s Severstal steel plants have had trouble complying with their state permits in recent years.</p><p>The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality now agrees with the companies contention that some of the old standards were too strict. The updated permits relax some emissions rules, while strengthening others.</p> Mon, 12 May 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 17557 at http://michiganradio.org Two of Michigan's biggest industrial polluters get "updated" permits Southwest Detroit is Michigan's most-polluted area http://michiganradio.org/post/southwest-detroit-michigans-most-polluted-area <p></p><p>Studies by environmental scientists find that 48217 is the most polluted zip code in the entire state of Michigan.</p><p>It's the zip for the Boynton neighborhood in southwest Detroit, perched next to the Marathon Refinery, which refines tar sands oil that comes from Canada.</p><p>The byproduct of that tar sands refining? Those huge piles of pet coke that appeared along the banks of the Detroit River last year before being removed.</p><p>For many people who call the Boynton neighborhood home, life is about belching smoke stacks, terrible odors, worries about what chemicals they're being exposed to, and declining property values.</p><p>Renee Lewis recently reported on "Life in Michigan's Dirtiest Zip Code" for Al Jazeera America, and she joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:54:28 +0000 Stateside Staff 17235 at http://michiganradio.org Southwest Detroit is Michigan's most-polluted area Will Enbridge Energy's new pipeline in Michigan be safer? http://michiganradio.org/post/will-enbridge-energys-new-pipeline-michigan-be-safer <p>A new oil pipeline is going underground in Michigan.</p><p>Enbridge Energy says this new pipeline will be bigger (36 inches vs. 30 inches) - it will pump more oil to the Marathon refinery in Detroit - and they say the pipeline will be safer. (The map in the slideshow above shows where the new line is going in.)</p> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:52:38 +0000 Mark Brush 14152 at http://michiganradio.org Will Enbridge Energy's new pipeline in Michigan be safer? Company says Detroit pet coke piles cleared away (almost) http://michiganradio.org/post/company-says-detroit-pet-coke-piles-cleared-away-almost <p>DETROIT (AP) - A company says it has removed piles of petroleum coke from Detroit's riverfront, but will need more time to haul away other materials from storage sites.<br><br>The city-imposed deadline for Detroit Bulk Storage to get rid of the petroleum coke is Tuesday.<br><br>Spokesman Daniel Cherrin says the company has asked for additional time to remove limestone aggregate and that it may take until early next month to clear it all away.<br><br>Bob Warfield, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bing, says daily inspections show the petroleum coke was being removed.<br> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 23:38:03 +0000 The Associated Press 14146 at http://michiganradio.org Company says Detroit pet coke piles cleared away (almost) State senator wants to give incentive for any company that builds an oil refinery in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/state-senator-wants-give-incentive-any-company-builds-oil-refinery-michigan <p>A state lawmaker says he has a plan to drive down Michigan’s high gas prices.</p><p></p><p>Senator Rick Jones says it’s time to build a new oil refinery.&nbsp;&nbsp; But not everyone’s sold on the plan.</p><p></p><p>Jones introduced legislation that would give a ten-year property and equipment tax exemption to any company willing to build a new refinery in Michigan.</p><p></p><p>“And that’s exactly what we need in Michigan to make sure we have adequate supplies,” says Jones.</p><p></p><p>Jones says more supply means lower prices at the pump.</p><p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 22:40:29 +0000 Jake Neher 13589 at http://michiganradio.org State senator wants to give incentive for any company that builds an oil refinery in Michigan Citizen groups flex some muscle in fight against Detroit's petroleum coke piles http://michiganradio.org/post/citizen-groups-flex-some-muscle-fight-against-detroits-petroleum-coke-piles <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-size: 14pt; line-height: 1.5;">By now, you’ve probably heard of Detroit’s pet coke piles.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14.0pt; color:#222222">They’re a byproduct of refining Canadian tar sands oil at Detroit’s Marathon refinery, and the ashen piles are definitely an eyesore on the city’s riverfront. But how much of a danger does pet coke really pose?<o:p></o:p></span></p> Thu, 27 Jun 2013 03:30:58 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13267 at http://michiganradio.org Citizen groups flex some muscle in fight against Detroit's petroleum coke piles Anti-pet coke activists blockade Detroit dock http://michiganradio.org/post/anti-pet-coke-activists-blockade-detroit-dock <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span>A group of protesters blocked trucks carrying petroleum coke from accessing docks on the Detroit riverfront Monday, as part of <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/06/man_climbs_into_pipeline_in_pr.html">several nationwide actions against Canadian tar sands oil.</a></p><p>As one activist put it while issuing an “eviction notice:” “Marathon, Koch Brothers, Matty Moroun…We expect you to leave now.”</p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 03:19:30 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 13226 at http://michiganradio.org Anti-pet coke activists blockade Detroit dock Growing outrage, and calls for action on Detroit pet coke piles http://michiganradio.org/post/growing-outrage-and-calls-action-detroit-pet-coke-piles <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Residents and business owners in Detroit are worried--and outraged--about petroleum coke piles growing on the city’s riverfront.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Here's what the piles look like from Fort Street in Southwest Detroit:</span></p><p></p><p>That byproduct of the oil refining process is being dumped in massive piles—now several blocks long and building stories high--along the Detroit River. It’s stored in the open, and wasn’t approved through any permitting process.</p> Wed, 29 May 2013 04:51:05 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 12780 at http://michiganradio.org Growing outrage, and calls for action on Detroit pet coke piles Peters uses Keystone XL vote to push for petroleum coke investigation http://michiganradio.org/post/peters-uses-keystone-xl-vote-push-petroleum-coke-investigation <p>The U.S. House voted Wednesday to sidestep President Obama, and <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/usa-energy-keystone-idUSL2N0E32TR20130523">authorize the&nbsp;first leg&nbsp;of a controversial pipeline project carrying tar sands oil to the US from Canada.</a></p> Thu, 23 May 2013 01:06:37 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 12699 at http://michiganradio.org Peters uses Keystone XL vote to push for petroleum coke investigation A three-story pile of pet coke next to Detroit River, where will it go? http://michiganradio.org/post/three-story-pile-pet-coke-next-detroit-river-where-will-it-go <p>An eyesore has grown on the Detroit skyline.</p><p>It's a three-story pile of black petroleum coke that could cover an entire city block and it's the by-product of <a href="http://archaeology.about.com/od/bcthroughbl/qt/bitumen.htm" target="_blank">oil sands bitumen</a> drilling in Alberta, Canada.&nbsp;</p><p>The pile is most visible to Canadians in Windsor, Canada where the view of the pile isn't hidden by buildings.&nbsp;</p><p>Ian Austen is the "New York Times" Canada correspondent who wrote <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/business/energy-environment/mountain-of-petroleum-coke-from-oil-sands-rises-in-detroit.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">a story on pet coke last week</a>.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 22 May 2013 19:24:13 +0000 Stateside Staff 12690 at http://michiganradio.org A three-story pile of pet coke next to Detroit River, where will it go? Fire breaks out at Marathon refinery in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/fire-breaks-out-marathon-refinery-detroit <p>A Marathon Petroleum spokesman says no one was hurt after a fire at a refinery in Detroit.</p><p>Shane Pochard tells The Associated Press the fire started Saturday evening in one of the smaller tanks at the Marathon Petroleum refinery. He says the fire has been put out and the cause is being investigated.<br><br>Pochard says no employees or contractors were injured. He says Marathon Petroleum has conducted extensive air monitoring in the neighborhood where the refinery is located and the area is safe.</p> Sun, 28 Apr 2013 16:24:56 +0000 Associated Press 12312 at http://michiganradio.org Fire breaks out at Marathon refinery in Detroit State tests: Mounds of oil refinery byproduct safe http://michiganradio.org/post/state-tests-mounds-oil-refinery-byproduct-safe <p>DETROIT (AP) - Tests by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have found that hulking black mounds along the banks of the Detroit River in southwest Detroit don't pose a threat to human health.</p><p>The petroleum coke, or pet coke, mounds are a byproduct of oil refining used in energy production. The material has been brought by trucks from the nearby Marathon Petroleum Co. refinery, and the mounds drew attention starting earlier this year.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/ZBCQx8">The Detroit News</a> reported the MDEQ's findings Friday.</p><p>Area residents, the Canadian government and U.S. lawmakers are among those concerned about potential pollution and health effects.</p><p>Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum says the pet coke stored along the Detroit River is no longer owned by the company. If stored properly, however, Marathon says pet coke poses no environmental concerns. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 19:35:00 +0000 The Associated Press 12222 at http://michiganradio.org State tests: Mounds of oil refinery byproduct safe Marathon buys 2/3 of homes near $2.2B oil project in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/marathon-buys-23-homes-near-22b-oil-project-detroit <p>DETROIT (AP) - Marathon Petroleum Corp. has bought two-thirds of the homes in an area of southwest Detroit where the oil company is carrying out a $2.2 billion expansion.<br><br>The company announced in November 2011 that it wanted to create a buffer area between its growing refinery operation and residential areas.<br><br>The Detroit News reported Sunday that Marathon has bought 205 homes so far. The company began with a list of 296 homeowners, and 265 of them agreed to discuss terms for a possible sale.<br><br>The company made offers to 258 of them.<br> Sun, 07 Apr 2013 20:22:12 +0000 The Associated Press 12041 at http://michiganradio.org Lots of unknowns as petroleum coke piles up along Detroit River http://michiganradio.org/post/lots-unknowns-petroleum-coke-piles-along-detroit-river <p><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20130313/NEWS01/303130118/Growing-mounds-of-petroleum-coke-raise-fears-along-Detroit-River">Large piles of petroleum coke along the Detroit River</a> have sparked concern from citizens and environmental groups.</p><p>The “petcoke” is a byproduct of the crude oil refinement process. This petcoke comes from the nearby Marathon oil refinery.</p><p>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.</p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 19:13:26 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 11715 at http://michiganradio.org Marathon Oil offers more money in Detroit neighborhood buyout plan http://michiganradio.org/post/marathon-oil-offers-more-money-detroit-neighborhood-buyout-plan <p>The Marathon Oil refinery in southwest Detroit is in the process of <a href="http://www.detroithoup.com/">expanding its facility</a> to process heavier crude oil from Canada.</p><p>The expansion brings the company&#39;s new refining equipment closer to Detroit&#39;s Oakwood Heights neighborhood.</p><p>Marathon has been offering to buy homes in this neighborhood to create a buffer zone between the refinery and other residential areas.</p><p>Some homeowners in Oakwood Heights have signed on with the buyouts, others have stayed put.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120423/METRO01/204230343/Refinery-convincing-homeowners-sell">Detroit News&#39; Jim Lynch reports</a> Marathon has upped the amount it&#39;s willing to pay:</p><blockquote><p>This month, Marathon officials said 86 percent of the owners have chosen to enroll in the buyout program &mdash; meaning they are willing to have their home appraised and see a monetary offer from the company.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p></blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Oakwood Heights is an area surrounded by heavy industry. In addition to the refinery, there&#39;s the city&#39;s sewage treatment plant, a salt mine, a steel factory, and other industries. Tue, 24 Apr 2012 15:51:09 +0000 Mark Brush 7172 at http://michiganradio.org Marathon Oil offers more money in Detroit neighborhood buyout plan Marathon offers to buy out homeowners http://michiganradio.org/post/marathon-offers-buy-out-homeowners <p>Michigan&rsquo;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&rsquo;s appraised value. There&rsquo;s also money to help people with moving expenses, and some other bonuses. Thu, 03 Nov 2011 01:46:22 +0000 Sarah Hulett 4822 at http://michiganradio.org Marathon offers to buy out homeowners