DETROIT (WWJ) – Some heated debate Thursday before the Detroit City Council surrounding the Marathon refinery in Southwest Detroit.

Representatives of Marathon were in the “hot seat” over hiring practices and environmental concerns. The company received tax abatements, but only hired 30 Detroiters out of over 600 employees. And Resident Sherry Griswald claims that she’s suffering second-degree burns from plant emissions.

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As for how long she’s experienced the burns, Griswald says, “This has been going on for at least, I’d say, a week after they really built it.”

Sherry Griswald claims Marathon plant caused burns. (photo credit: WWJ Newsradio 950)

Sherry Griswald claims Marathon plant caused burns. (photo credit: WWJ Newsradio 950)

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People who live near the refinery went before the City Council to talk about environmental and health concerns. Steven Boyle, a community activist, also agreed that people in the neighborhood of the refinery are becoming sick from the emissions.

“Sherry Griswald who lives next to it, she’s telling you all that she’s gotten used to basically this burning in her throat, her eyes, the dull headache that’s always in her head, and she suffers from short-term memory loss, nervous conditions where she’s losing her balance,” says Boyle.

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Marathon representatives left council chambers declining to comment to the media.