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Natural Resources Defense Council wants better state rules on petcoke

Friday, Jan 17, 2014

* From a press release…

Despite strong statements and leadership from Governor Pat Quinn, emergency petcoke regulations unveiled by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency today fall far short of the mark, according to legal experts with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Following is a joint statement from NRDC Midwest Director Henry Henderson and Southeast Environmental Task Force Executive Director Peggy Salazar:

    “The Governor has been forceful with the message that the state should put a pause on petcoke and coal pile permits. The piles blighting the southeast side of Chicago do indeed imply a deeper threat for communities across Illinois; and Governor Quinn is right to take emergency action.

    “But, the Governor’s strong leadership and thoughtful response to the problem are not reflected in today’s rule. It is a reasonable first step, but short of the moratorium implied in his statements. More action is needed from the administration if they are going to match their stated goal to put a halt to this activity.”

* From a letter written by the group to the IEPA

)O)ur key priorities include (i) shortening the timeframes for enclosure of major dust sources; (ii) adding further clarity to the provision governing operation during wind events, which we consider to be critically important; (iii) enhancing the setback requirements, which are also critical, and (iv) adding testing and monitoring provisions for most notably visible emissions and opacity.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    The long-term plan should be to get that stuff out of residential neighborhoods. What about the Wisconsin Steel site? That’s been dormant for more than 30 years.

  2. - Union Man - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Move the plant the Governors backyard and see how quickly this issue is cleaned up!!

  3. - train111 - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 9:42 am:


    BP has constructed an asphalt distribution
    trminal on a portion of the Wisconsin Steel
    site. The problem is wind blowing the stuff around.

  4. - train111 - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Hit send too soon
    There are residential areas to the north and the northwest of that site as well.

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    thanks, train.

  6. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    It seems it wouldn’t be too hard to build some sort of massive pole building (see them out west of me for corn all over the place) that would cover the stuff and keep it out of the wind.

  7. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    With all the regulators and inspectors going around, I find it hard to believe that some law was not being broken.

    When trash from fast food operations blows around a neighborhood, there always is an inspector around to require a cleaning effort. This situation is far worse. Industrial waste needs to be stored securely within the confines of the property that generates it.

  8. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Question if anyone knows. Is this pile fuel grade for resale?

  9. - Going nuclear - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    I don’t think petcoke should be stored near residential areas, and southeast Chicago has been a dumping ground for industrial waste far too long.

    BP should take responsibility for developing or facilitating an environmentally sound method for reusing the by-product without having it pile up off its property. If not, send the material directly to a landfill.

  10. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    Going Nuclear

    Petcoke actually has several industrial uses. Especially in the manufacture of Aluminum and Steel. It can also be used as a fuel but is banned here in U.S.

    That being said better storage is desperately needed.

  11. - carbaby - Friday, Jan 17, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Unfortunately I don’t hold too much hope that anything substantive will be done. The Koch brothers are involved in this. There have been a few environmental concerns very recently in this area- and the community has been very vocal about it. Who’s going to re-write the policy and who is going to be lobbying hard against it or not so hard depending on who and how it’s written?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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