Progress Underway on Detroit Air Quality Improvements and Port Decarbonization

Experts to report on new initiatives during July 26 event on Detroit River


DETROIT, Michigan (July 24, 2023) – During a boat tour of the Detroit River July 26, invited state legislators, city officials, media and clean air stakeholders will learn about new initiatives to improve air quality and support more sustainable shipping on Detroit area waterways. The tour is sponsored by Warner Petroleum Company in partnership with Michigan Advanced Biofuels Coalition (MiABC), Michigan Clean Cities (MCC) and Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV).

Information to be shared during the event includes:

  • Details of recently introduced state legislation, which if passed will provide financial incentives for the production and sale of biodiesel, a locally produced renewable fuel that reduces emissions from trucks, buses, marine vessels and other diesel-powered equipment. Michigan state representatives will speak and answer questions.
  • Work underway by The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority to develop a plan to decarbonize port operations of all marine terminals in the Detroit area, with a goal of net zero by 2040. The Port of Detroit Decarbonization Project is aimed at transforming the Port of Detroit’s environmental and community impact.
  • Updates on a new $22.9 million project that will improve efficiency of Great Lakes shipping, bring construction jobs, and increase economic development in the region. The project is a public-private partnership between the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority and Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Company. The Port Authority received a $16 million federal grant to fund port improvements and Waterfront Petroleum Terminal Company will invest an additional $6.9 million in the project.
  • News on grants available to Michigan-based organizations through the USDA High Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).
  • Reports of ongoing work by MiABC, MCC and SEDV to help fleets reduce harmful emissions and greenhouse gases through use of biodiesel and other clean fuel strategies.

These initiatives are expected to significantly impact the current and future health of Detroit residents and the surrounding community. The recent State of the Air report from the American Lung Association ranked the Detroit/Warren/Ann Arbor metropolitan area as the nation’s twelfth most polluted based on particulate matter content in the air.

“Many of our marine fuel customers are striving for more sustainable operations by using biodiesel blends. Biodiesel is a drop-in replacement for fossil fuels and is the best choice to reduce carbon emissions from heavy duty vessels shipping on the Great Lakes and beyond,” says Jason Smith, vice president of supply and sales, Warner Petroleum Company. Smith will be among the featured speakers at the July 26 event.  

Others scheduled to speak are:

  • Pete Probst, director of MiABC and president, Indigenous Energy, Chicago, Illinois
  • Robert Moorcroft, Ph.D., carbon reduction scientist, Tunley Engineering
  • Raquel Garcia, executive director, SEDV
  • Maggie Striz Calnin, director, MCC

For more information about biodiesel and MiABC, visit

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