Category Archives: Community Information

Marathon Petroleum’s statement to the Detroit City Council on Feb. 5, 2019

Below are comments from Marathon Petroleum at the Feb. 5, 2019, Detroit City Council meeting regarding the malfunctioning flare at the company’s refinery:

On Sunday , we implemented processes that significantly reduced the amount of material flowing to the flare. By Sunday evening, we had reduced it to zero, which addressed the odor concerns that affected the area. We believe the odor was largely from mercaptan, a substance added to natural gas to give it a detectable odor. We deployed air-monitoring resources on a constant basis, and at no time did they detect dangerous levels of any substances. The U.S. EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that there were no readings of concern. We also worked closely with the City of Detroit on this matter. This included the city’s Homeland Security office and the Buildings, Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department.

When we began our response to this incident, we notified the MDEQ, the Detroit Fire Department, the Dearborn Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Homeland Security and others. We worked to ensure a briefing was sent to the members of this honorable council, as well as his honor the mayor’s office. We also notified members of the community by updating our refinery website and sending text messages, phone calls and emails to those who have subscribed to receive those alerts. Throughout our response, we have kept emergency responders, regulatory agencies, and our neighbors informed of our efforts. We have made our air-monitoring data available to the regulatory and emergency response agencies.

As of yesterday evening, we finished removing the contents of various vessels that are connected to the flare. This means we can now de-activate the flare and begin making repairs.

Once we start making repairs, one of our top priorities will be to determine how this incident happened. We believe it was linked to the extreme cold that affected the area last week, but we will rely on our investigation to confirm that. Once we know the cause, we will take corrective actions so that this does not happen again.

After we make the repairs, test the flare, and confirm it is safe, we will begin the process of re-establishing normal operations at the refinery. Our highest priority is the safety of the community where we operate and those who work at our refinery. We apologize to the community for the odor and the inconvenience.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality press statement regarding Detroit release

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued a press statement regarding their response to the release at Marathon Petroleum’s Detroit refinery. Please see the statement here:


Refinery restarting operations on Oct. 18

On Oct. 18, 2018, the Detroit Refinery will begin the process of restarting its operations as we complete maintenance work. This startup process will take approximately one week, and you may notice occasional flaring or noise during this time. Should you have any concerns, please contact the refinery’s community hotline number, 313-297-MARA (6272).

News story says MDEQ identified foam emerging from sewer near refinery – unrelated to refinery operations

Detroit’s Channel Four news published a story today noting that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has identified the foamy substance that has been emerging from a sewer near the Marathon Petroleum refinery. It appears to have originated from a nearby parking lot, which is unaffiliated with the refinery. Read the full story here:

Smoke may be visible several days in June due to firefighter training

Marathon Petroleum regularly conducts firefighting training, both internally and with other firefighters in the Detroit area. We will be conducting this type of training on our property on the following dates, which may cause visible smoke:

Firefighter training: June 15 and 19 (each during late morning)

Fire extinguisher training: June 21 (during late morning)

Firefighter training with the Metro Airport Fire Dept.: June 27, 28 and 29 (each will be all-day training)

Emergency response drill to take place June 13

Personnel from Marathon Pipe Line will conduct a practice drill on the Rouge River as part of the company’s program to continually improve its emergency-response capabilities. The drill, scheduled for Tuesday, June 13, will involve personnel and equipment being deployed on and near the Rouge River in the vicinity of the Melvindale Civic Arena. If you have any questions about this practice drill, please contact Jamal Kheiry, Public Affairs Department, at 419-421-3312.