DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved two new air permits for Marathon’s refinery in southwest Detroit.

State officials say the update will lead to reductions in harmful air pollution.

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“This is a great example of industry, state officials and local officials working together for a solution that will benefit Detroiters and all Michiganders,” DEQ Director Keith Creagh said in a media release.

“We know there’s more work to be done, but the air quality in Detroit is better than it has been in decades and we are pleased that this permit solution will contribute to continuing improvements.”

Sulfur dioxide would be reduced under the permits, a move required under new standards handed down by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as cuts in sulfuric acid and nitrogen oxide emissions also will result.

The original proposal would have allowed for higher sulfur dioxide emissions coming from the facility.

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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Marathon listened to public concerns and the result is “very good news” for those living nearby.

“The voice of our citizens and elected officials working together and communicating to Marathon and MDEQ had a powerful influence on this decision,” added Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council President. “Marathon and MDEQ listened to citizens during public comment and this caused Marathon to work harder to achieve a healthier solution that provides greater benefit to the community.”

Dave Roland, general manager of the refinery, says in a statement that the company worked with the Detroit mayor’s office and the state to address public concerns. He says that Marathon remains “committed to our ongoing efforts to minimize emissions.”

[View the permits and summary document at this link].

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