Sprawling across 250 acres in southwest Detroit, the Marathon Petroleum refinery cranks through 123,000 barrels of oil per day.
And produces 250 tons of sulfur dioxide each year.
Sulfur dioxide causes respiratory and pulmonary problems, and can aggravate heart problems. And it's just one chemical in the toxic stew that residents of Michigan's most polluted ZIP code breathe in, every day. That area is home to 10 large polluters, from Marathon to U.S. Steel to a slew of DTE Energy coal plants.
Now, Marathon is asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for permission to release up to 22 additional tons of sulfur dioxide per year, a result of the company's efforts to meet new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for gasoline. MDEQ said earlier this month that it was prepared to approve the permit.