Is there Petcoke allowed in Chicago and is it that bad it needs a petition?
Posted in the Chicago Forum
#1 Dec 12, 2013
"Apparently the guidelines in Illinois allow KCBX to store this material in the open air. On windy days, the air is filled with huge swirling clouds of black petcoke, coating everything in this heavily populated area. Prolonged exposure creates asthmatic symptoms in as little as 24 months. People are unable to open their windows or enjoy a picnic in their backyards. This has regional impacts. Think it doesn't affect you? Take another drink of water. The petcoke is being stored on the banks of the Calumet River, which is a direct tributary and directly adjacent to Lake Michigan. The piles have already reached 4 to 5 stories in height. Lake Michigan serves drinking water to over 8 million Chicagoans and citizens of outlying areas. This has global impacts. The petcoke is being stored on the southside of Chicago until it can be shipped to foreign countries with more lax environmental laws. China has been the largest importer of petcoke. The petcoke is being used as an alternative to coal. The problem is that petcoke burns three times dirtier than coal. "
#2 Dec 13, 2013
December 12, 2013
Area citizens and elected officials have expressed concern over petroleum coke (petcoke) dust on Chicagos Southeast side. As the debate over the enforcement of existing regulations or the creation of new regulations continues, it is important that all stakeholders have a complete understanding of petroleum coke.
Like gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel, petroleum coke is one of many valued products produced during the oil refining process. The first modern coker was installed in the 1930s and petcoke is currently produced at over 140 refineries worldwide.
Petroleum coke is not a waste product; rather, it is used as a source of energy and in the manufacturing and production of cement, aluminum, steel and countless other products. In fact, petcoke is an important, lower priced energy source in many developing nations nations whose quality of life could suffer without it.
The Environmental Protection Agency does not classify petcoke as hazardous. Extensive testing has revealed that petcoke has no observed carcinogenic, reproductive or developmental effects in humans and a low potential to cause adverse effects on aquatic or terrestrial environments.
And petcoke is not unique to Canadian crude. The fact that cokers have been used since the 1930s should dispel that myth. Petcoke is and will continue to be a product of the modern refining process and the use of cokers is necessary if we are to maximize the yield from each and every barrel of crude, be it from the United States, Mexico, the Middle East or Canada.
Finally, the issue of energy independence must be considered. 58 percent of Americas trade imbalance is energy. Refining crude from our neighbors to the north and to the south rather than crude from one of the worlds most volatile areas is not only common sense, it is in our nations strategic interest. Producing and exporting petroleum coke, regardless of its source, is in our nations economic interest.
The Illinois Petroleum Council and its members are committed to fulfilling any and all obligations as directed by local, state and federal permits, regulations and laws. In short, we are committed to working with community and civic leaders in resolving this issue in a manner which recognizes both the value of petcoke and the concerns of citizens living near terminals and other storage facilities.
Jim Watson, Executive Director, Illinois Petrolium Council, Springfield
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