Blog #2- Petcoke Dust on the Southeast Side

Blog Assignment #2 Environmental Issues

A large environmental issue that isn’t currently being talked about is located on the Southeast side of Chicago. The Southeast side of Chicago is largely industrial area, and in 2013, residents started to notice that there was black powder flying through the area. The powder was soon identified as Petroleum Coke, or Petcoke. Petcoke is a solid material that resembles coal, and is a product of refining oil. When inhaled, it has the potential to seriously damage your lungs as well as your heart. The Petcoke had residents worried about their health, limiting them in what they could do outside. Due to this, residents started to complain, and took the two main companies that had Petcoke facilities, KCBX Terminals Inc., and Beemsterboer Slag Corp. to court. The two companies had previously had petcoke storage faculties, with no covering over the petcoke that was stored there, allowing particulate matter to fly around freely. The companies lost the case. The largest of these companies, KCBX Terminals, agreed to invest $30 million to improve operations, as well as a $10 million dust suppression system. Also, they still continue to transport Petcoke through the area on trains. I feel that the best way to solve this issue is to make sure that the companies are forced to put these containment systems, instead of making empty promises so that Petcoke dust is kept to a minimum while either storing or transporting Petcoke.

Works Cited

LaTrace, AJ. Just how big are Chicago’s Petcoke piles? They’re enormous . 15 July 2015. Document . 5th October 2016.

Tafoya, Bernie. SE Side Residents Say Petcoke Settlements Not Enough. 4 May 2016. Document. 5th October 2016.

U.S. EPA. What is EPA Doing about Pet Coke in Chicago? 22 July 2016. Document. 6 October 2016.


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