Fighting Back for the Neighborhood

Petroleum Coke

Among Chicago’s southeast side of old industrial districts along the Calumet River, residents have begun to speak out against the harboring of petroleum coke in their neighborhood (pet coke), which is a hazardous byproduct from refining oil. This material is brought and stored on the banks of the Calumet River, waiting for exportation to other developing countries, which still use pet coke as a source of energy. The air quality in the surrounding communities is in constant decline as these open storage units are subject to Chicago’s vicious winds.

“Cleary a new form of environmentalism has taken root in communities of color”(Robert Bullard). The best course of action in order to solve this sanitation problem would be to pass legislation, mandating companies to move the product into a less populated area so less people are affected as well as completely enclose this fine particle toxin for proper storage. The players involved would be the employees and owners of Koch Industries, stockholders in this company, the residents of the affected communities, local and state legislators, constituents, and the surrounding ecosystems.

This plan would benefit the quality of air and water in the surrounding ecosystems and communities as well as the increase the welfare of its inhabitants. This business moves more than 11 million tons of pet coke through these communities causing health related problems and damaging personal property. The government should have listened to the citizens are intensively prosecuted the company for its blatant pollution of the surrounding areas. This company was given several extensive by the state, yet still has needed to as for a 13 month extension because they could not allocate the materials in the given time period. Legislators should claim responsibility for their constituents and allocate the correct organizations to resolve the problems.


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