PETCOKE PILE PROGRESS: BUT SOUTHEAST SIDE STILL NEEDS HELP
NEIGHBORS OF OIL REFINING WASTE MOUNDS HOLDING EMERGENCY MEETING TO RAISE CONCERNS
OLGA BAUTISTA 773-712-4956
LYDIA JORDAN 402-730-4995
MEMO RODRIGUEZ 773-294-0111
A series of recent announcements regarding Chicago’s controversial petcoke piles signal significant changes on the city’s Southeast Side, where the oil refining waste has been mounded in close proximity to homes, parks and schools though the real impacts are not yet clear:
1. Voters overwhelmingly passed a resolution to ban petcoke from the city’s 10th Ward.
2. KCBX, the company storing and handling the petcoke at two sites along the Calumet River, announced that it would close one site and remove piles from the other, but keep the second site operating indefinitely as a transfer facility to shift petcoke between trains, barges and ships.
3. BP, whose refinery in nearby Whiting, IN is a main source of petcoke being piled in Chicago, announced they would cease storing the material in Illinois.
4. The City of Chicago denied a request from KCBX to delay enclosure of their controversial petcoke piles.
5. February 14 saw very cold temperatures and high winds in Chicago. According to monitoring data reported by KCBX to U.S. EPA, on this day PM10 levels at the North site reached 175 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over a 24-hour period, with hourly averages as high as 819 micrograms per cubic meter. The current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“NAAQS”) for PM10, for comparison, is 150 micrograms per cubic meter on a 24-hour average (not to be exceeded more than once per year on average over three years.
6. Similar particle pollution levels on April 12 and May 8, 2014, are at the heart of a legal action by the U.S. EPA, and support a parallel lawsuit by the Illinois EPA and Illinois Attorney General.
7. The February 14 monitoring data provides yet more justification for these actions – with the levels on Valentine’s Day by far the highest daily average monitored at the sites to date.
Southeast Side groups and neighbors are holding emergency community meeting to raise concerns about the future of their neighborhood in light of recent events.
• Peggy Salazar and Tom Sheppard, Southeast Environmental Task Force
• Olga Bautista, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke
• Neighbors of the petcoke mounds
Today, THURSDAY, March 19th at 6:30 PM
Eastside United Methodist Church 11000 S. Ewing Ave. CHICAGO IL 60617