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Marathon Petroleum Company (Detroit, Wayne County)

EGLE Site Lead: Joseph DeGrazia, DeGraziaJ@Michigan.gov or 586-291-0476. Webpage last updated: January 8, 2021. 

Background

During the summer of 2018, large amounts of white foam were observed overflowing from a manhole next to Schaefer Highway in Melvindale. This manhole is part of a combined sanitary and storm sewer system that leads to the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Wastewater Treatment Plant. The drainage system services a large, highly industrialized area. Through sampling and investigation, Marathon Petroleum Company, located at 1300 Fort Street in Detroit, was identified as a contributor to this drainage system and a source of PFAS contamination.

Sampling by EGLE staff identified PFOS and PFOA in the drainage ditch adjacent to Marathon above water quality standards. Based on these results, GLWA and EGLE required Marathon to investigate and control the PFAS discharge to the GLWA system and to submit a workplan to further delineate the nature and extent of PFAS contamination on site.

The highest groundwater result reported at this site was 765,000 ppt PFOS. Marathon has identified the use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) in both the fire training area and areas of historic emergency response as sources of PFAS. Marathon first used PFAS containing AFFF in the 1980s and during annual training until 2018. 

All nearby residents are on municipal water sourced from the Detroit River. The municipal water supplies have been sampled for PFAS and results may be found here. Investigation of other sources of PFAS contamination in the area can be found on the MPART website under Investigations, Area of Interest, Wayne County, Melvindale Foaming Sewer Area.

Melvindale Marathon Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • Marathon completed site investigations, a feasibility study, and environmental sensitivity study. On December 31, 2020 Marathon submitted their PFAS Investigation Summary Report to EGLE. This report is a culmination of Marathon's investigation activities and their proposed response activities to remediate PFAS.
  • On January 7, 2021, EGLE and Marathon held a virtual meeting to discuss and review Marathon's PFAS strategy.

Next Steps

  • EGLE is currently reviewing Marathon's PFAS Investigation Summary Report.
  • On January 22, 2021, EGLE and Marathon will meet virtually to discuss and review Marathon's PFAS Investigation Summary Report.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • All residents are on municipal water.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples Above Criteria*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

July 2019 21 21
 Surface Water  January/July/August 2019  9 9

*Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds: PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).
*Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.

       Sampling Notes

  • None at this time.

Historical Timeline

    • On December 20, 2018, GLWA issued a Violation Notice to Marathon Petroleum, requiring Marathon to provide data to characterize PFAS in the storm water and provide plans for eliminating future discharges.
    • In 2019, Marathon collected storm water and groundwater samples as described above.
    • On September 30, 2019, EGLE sent Marathon a Compliance Communication letter requesting the site be investigated for PFAS due to elevated concentrations of PFOS in the drainage ditch traversing the northern property boundary.
    • On November 7, 2019, EGLE, Marathon and Arcadis's held a meeting to discuss the Compliance Communication letter and paths forward for Marathon to address PFAS contamination.
    • On November 21, 2019, Marathon submitted the PFAS Investigation and Response Activity Work Plan - Fire Training Area, Marathon Petroleum Company Detroit Refinery, Detroit, Michigan.
    • In January 2020, Marathon's contractor began conducting the first phase of the soil and groundwater investigation on-site and off-site. Details of the first phase investigation will be reported in the feasibility study Marathon will submit at the end of the year.
    • In September 2020, EGLE was notified that Marathon hired a second contractor to conduct a Sensitive Environmental Receptor Study.
    • On September 22, 2020, EGLE had a virtual meeting with Marathon and was informed that: all aspects of the refinery will be investigated for PFAS; a second contractor was added to assist with the investigation and conduct a Sensitive Environmental Receptors Study; and Marathon's goal is to contain PFAS on-site and eliminate it within the Marathon Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP).
    • On October 8, 2020, EGLE held a virtual town hall with the environmental justice community in the Dearborn, Detroit, and Melvindale area. This event will include information about Marathon, Rouge Main Complex, and fish, surface water, point source, drinking water and other related monitoring events that have occurred in this area.
    • Marathon completed site investigations, a feasibility study, and environmental sensitivity study. On December 31, 2020 Marathon submitted their PFAS Investigation Summary Report to EGLE. This report is a culmination of Marathon's investigation activities and their proposed response activities to remediate PFAS.
    • On January 7, 2021, EGLE and Marathon held a virtual meeting to discuss and review Marathon's PFAS strategy.