Marathon agrees to $80K fine, $280K community investment after 2019 broken pipe dilemma

Settlement is years in the making

Marathon Petroleum and its surrounding neighborhood have come to a tentative settlement deal after a broken pipe spewed fumes into the neighborhood in 2019.

DETROIT – It’s a settlement years in the making.

On Tuesday night, Marathon Petroleum and its surrounding neighborhood have a tentative deal in the dispute over noxious odors emitted into the air there.

The event behind all this came in 2019, when a broken pipe spewed fumes and sent residents scrambling for fresh air.

The state of Michigan is not happy with Marathon’s emissions track record over the past few years. It stepped in and helped broker a deal between Marathon and the Sierra club of Detroit, which is representing the neighborhood.

READ: Detroit Marathon oil refinery hit with violation notice from state environmental group

The state levied about $80,000 in fines on top of the cash that Marathon will be spending in the neighborhood.

On Feb. 2, 2019 the polar vortex helped split a major Marathon refinery pipe.

“Some people were experiencing burning and irritation in the throat and some were nauseated,” resident Theresa Landrum said.

The state also found violations dating back to 2017 and piled those penalties onto the settlement. In a specialized environmental project, Marathon agreed to spend more than $280,000 adding a specialized air conditioning and filtration system to the Mark Twain School for Scholars so children have pure air to breathe.

“We feel this is a win win, it brings the dollars back into the community. These are voluntary projects,” EGLE spokesperson Jenine Camilleri said.

One part of the settlement requires Marathon to increase its air monitoring equipment, which comes with high technology for area residents to download a phone app so they can see what the monitors are picking up.

READ: ‘Enough is enough’: People living near Marathon Refinery want out

About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.