(CBS DETROIT) – There’s a lingering odor near I-75 and West Fort Street in southwest Detroit.
“That heavy scent of crude oil and that rotten egg smell. It’s unbearable,” said southwest Detroit resident Theresa Landrum.
Some residents say it makes them sick and nauseous and they’re pointing the blame at a powerful corporation.
“And it can trigger your asthma attack. It can trigger a myriad of things in your body,” she said.
Marathon Petroleum Company is trying to make a mends with the nearby community for air quality violations.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy is ordering the oil giant to pay $82,000 for releasing sulfide and mercaptan vapor.
MPC says the 2019 polar vortex caused a piping issue that emitted the toxins.
Part of the settlement includes a supplemental environment project, a $282,000 contribution to mark twain school for scholars to implement a new air conditioning and filtration system.
“It is exciting to see that you know some of the money is going to community because a lot of the times the community that’s impacted doesn’t get to see the money so it is exciting that marathon and that the state came to this agreement to make sure that the community’s priorities were met,” said Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer Justin Onwenu.
But some residents in the 48217 zip code say the contribution is a drop in the bucket.
“And that $82,000 that is nothing. It’s nothing but a grain of sand in the sea of egregious acts that this company and the other companies have committed for decades,” said Landrum.
Marathon Petroleum Company said in a statement that the Detroit refinery is one of 24 heavy industry businesses operating in southwest Detroit and MPC invested $350 million in environmental and safety improvements.
EGLE cited MPC for eight emissions violations dating back to 2017.
“What we want is the incidents to stop and what we want is investments into the community that will benefit the community,” said Landrum.
MPC’s statement to CW50/CBS Detroit affirms that for the past 15 years the Detroit facility has been operating at more than 40 percent below its yearly permitted emission levels.
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