State updates permits for steelmaker, oil refinery

Permits have been updated for a Detroit-area steelmaker and an oil refinery, the state Department of Environmental Quality announced Monday.
AP Wire
May 13, 2014

A 2014 permit for Dearborn-based Severstal expands testing requirements, adds emission limits for fine particulates, enhances emission and operational monitoring requirements and provides the DEQ with more tools to make sure the steelmaker continues to comply.

The heavy oil upgrade permit for the Marathon refinery in southwest Detroit makes emission limitation adjustments and production adjustments. Some operations will see a decrease in the allowable emissions.

"These two operators are among the largest in the state of Michigan," DEQ Air Quality Division Chief Vince Hellwig said in a release. "Development of effective permits at these enormous operations is a huge challenge."

Severstal originally was provided an air permit in 2006 to increase production and install additional air pollution control equipment. Since 2010, the state has issued 38 notices of violation to Severstal.

While the emissions from the facility exceeded the 2006 limits, the emissions did not violate any state or federal air quality standards, according to the state.

The new permitted levels are not expected to cause harm to anyone, including children and the elderly, the state said.

The Marathon refinery retrofitted its operation between June 2008 and November 2012 to handle heavy oil, including tar sands crude oil.

The permit update announced Monday includes a consent order related to allegations that the refinery violated its earlier permit. The DEQ said that based on air monitoring in the surrounding area it is not believed the public was at "any discernable health risk."

The consent order will include a financial penalty and is expected to be entered in the coming weeks.

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.