February 26th, 2019 - 5:37pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 26, 2019
MASSE URGES CITY OF DETROIT TO REJECT MARTAHON’S ATTEMPT TO HARM THE COMMUNITY WITH PETCOKE
Ottawa- Today, Brian Masse, MP (Windsor West), NDP Industry, Great Lakes and Border Critic made a submission to the City of Detroit Building, Safety and Environmental Department (BSED) to follow the decision made by Detroit City Council and deny Marathon Petroleum Company’s requested variance from Bulk Solid Materials Ordinance, specifically to be exempt from complying with the ordinance’s requirement that bulk solid materials be stored in fully enclosed containers having a floor, four walls, and a roof.
“Marathon does not want to put a roof on its petroleum coke processing pit in Southwest Detroit, which would subject residents in the surrounding area, including Windsor, Ontario and Essex County in Canada, to unacceptable health and environmental risks,” Masse wrote in the submission. “Petcoke is a toxic substance that is carcinogenic and must be prevented from being exposed to humans. The basic protection of having all petcoke covered from the elements is a simple and easily implemented solution. Petcoke becoming aerosolized can impact the air quality in an area, such as southwest Detroit which has some of the highest asthma and cancer rates in the United States. It was one of the primary reasons for passing the Ordinance in the first place.”
“Marathon, regardless of their suspect and unsubstantiated engineering claims about following the rules, is a successful and financially able corporation, having had record profits in 2017, that can institute these measures to come in compliance with the regulations. Building a roof can be done.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has taken legal action against Marathon three times, in 2005, 2014 and 2016. All of these resulted in settlements but the recent Marathon gas leak on February 3, 2019 has demonstrated, Marathon cannot be trusted to adequately regulate itself and protect the health and safety of the communities surrounding it nor is it responsive to actions from the MDEQ to ameliorate and change its behaviour. The reason the Detroit City Council passed the Ordinance was to set a higher standard for protecting public health and the environment than what exists at the Michigan State level.
Accordingly, based on all the information and the overwhelming opposition from residents on both sides of the border I urge BSED to deny Marathon’s variance request and protect the public health and environment,” Masse wrote.
To make a submission to the City of Detroit go to this link: https://detroitmi.gov/departments/buildings-safety-engineering-and-environmental-department/marathon-variance-hearing
For further information, please contact: Mohummed Peer 519.982.8816