Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Koch Brothers-Owned Company Coats Chicago Homes With Petcoke Dust, Accused of Clean Air Act Violation

Energy
Koch Brothers-Owned Company Coats Chicago Homes With Petcoke Dust, Accused of Clean Air Act Violation

Chicagoans have long desired action against the owners of the piles of petcoke on the Southeast Side, and this week they finally got it.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that KCBX Terminals Co. violated the Clean Air Act earlier this year, based on dust-wipe samples taken from homes in the neighborhood adjacent to to the Koch Brothers-controlled facility. Wind has long blown dust from mounts of petroleum coke, coating the sides of homes. It's the exact reasons residents expressed anger at Mayor Rahm Emanuel and city council earlier this year when he proposed loophole-ridden regulations regarding petcoke storage.

Mounds of petroleum coke have been blowing in the direction of residents in Southeast Chicago. Photo credit: Alibaba.com

"We knew the dust was coming from their sites," Peggy Salazar, executive director of the Southeast Environmental Task Force, told the Chicago Tribune. "What they've been saying just isn't true."

A company spokesman told the publication that it would review the EPA notice. The company has increased shipments of petcoke from refineries that have shifted to tar sands oil which led to the samples taken five times between February and May.

However, the company previously argued that it had spent a combined $30 million on storage terminal upgrades, such as large sprinklers that adjustable based on wind speed and direction to pack down dust. Also, KCBX says it hired an environmental consultant to test soil samples on properties near the plant.

Five days before the EPA began its sampling, a company site manager told area residents in a letter that the consultant found "no unusual levels of dust particles associated with petcoke or coal" nearby. However, the residents themselves have the evidence on their homes and have been breathing it in.

"The piles are still here," Salazar said. "We feel like all of our complaints are for naught."

——–

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Chicago’s Proposed Petcoke Regulations Full of Loopholes

A Look at the Sustainable Chicago Restaurant That Recycled and Composted Everything for 2 Years

——–

Anika Chebrolu of Frisco, Texas has been named "America's Top Young Scientist" for identifying a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Anika Chebrolu / YouTube

Scientists at top universities searching for a coronavirus cure have just gotten help from an unexpected source: a 14-year-old from Texas.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Fish exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds, like this inland silverside fish, can pass on health problems to future generations. Bill Stagnaro / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Brian Bienkowski

Fish exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds pass on health problems to future generations, including deformities, reduced survival, and reproductive problems, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Poor eating habits, lack of exercise, genetics, and a bunch of other things are known to be behind excessive weight gain. But, did you know that how much sleep you get each night can also determine how much weight you gain or lose?

Read More Show Less
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declares victory during the Labor Party Election Night Function at Auckland Town Hall on Oct. 17, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Hannah Peters / Getty Images

Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister who has emerged as a leader on the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, has won a second term in office.

Read More Show Less
A woman holds a handful of vitamin C. VO IMAGES / Getty Images

By Laura Beil

Consumers have long turned to vitamins and herbs to try to protect themselves from disease. This pandemic is no different — especially with headlines that scream "This supplement could save you from coronavirus."

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch