Pollution a worry as refinery seeks another expansion
August 28, 2007
proposed second major expansion of Marathon Petroleum Co.'s refinery in
But like all U.S. refinery projects, the $1-billion plan to boost production 15% by 2010 and add 135 permanent jobs and 800 temporary construction jobs faces environmental opposition even before the government approval process begins.
proposed project would allow for the refinery to process heavy crude oil that
Marathon Petroleum acknowledged the expansion could result in more air
pollution. The company said it expects an increase of about 30% in carbon
monoxide and particulates emitted into the air.
oppose the increase of any sort of emissions into the air or water and we will
weigh in during the public comment period," Abby Rubley, field director
for Environment Michigan in
Some of the proposed expansion work would take place at the current refinery site off I-75 near Melvindale, and some on an adjacent 17-acre industrial parcel.
Environmental Council President Lana Pollack isn't convinced that Marathon's
proposed expansion would be anything but a problem for residents in southwest
"Refineries are notorious for polluting in terms of air and water," Pollack said Monday. "One reason that there have been no new refineries built in this country is because the siting of them is almost impossible.
"The impact falls only on people in certain neighborhoods," she said. "So people who fill up their Lexuses and Escalades in the northern suburbs have the benefit of the oil, but the people next to the refineries have increased asthma and other problems."
be a whole lot of rules and regulations they'll have to follow, so I'm sure
Graves, a spokeswoman for
Marathon Petroleum's plans, if approved by Marathon Oil, then would require approval from multiple levels of government.
first presented its plans Aug. 9 to
The company also must get the go-ahead from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
have applied for air permits with the Department of Environmental Quality and
there are also some conditional-use permits that must be applied for at the
process would require
understand the interest in providing increased refinery capacity to
proposed expansion could help stabilize fuel prices for
add about 630,000 gallons of gas a day to the
you can increase gasoline supplies it's good for consumers," said John
Griffin, executive director of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan.
"Especially since that product stays right in
But Rubley dismissed the trade-off as unfair.
no point should people in the
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Sierra Club Conservation Organizer
Phone: (248) 549-6213
we will keep the