DETROIT (WWJ) – One by one, dozens of residents spoke at a public hearing Wednesday night voicing their opposition to the Marathon oil company’s call to raise their pollutant levels in order to meet cleaner fuel standards.

Alan Freeman, 32, lives in southwest Detroit and tells WWJ’s Stephanie Davis that the pollution is taking its toll on his family.

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“My mother is sick, my family members are sick. We’re watching our families die,” said Freeman. “We want to know what’s going on, what’s going to change. This is a billion dollar company, it’s not like you don’t have the money to do anything.”

Health Officer, Dr. Abdul El Sayed, executive director of the Health Department came to the meeting representing the city’s position:

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“We have a responsibility to act on behalf of the children and behalf of the adults who might suffer from asthma and other diseases and so we oppose this – we think we need less pollution, not more.”

The company says release levels are lower than what is permitted by law.

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The State Department of Environment Quality plans to hold another public hearing before a decision is made.