This petition closed 7 months ago
Petroleum coke, or petcoke, is a byproduct of refining heavy oils like those that come from the tar sands in Canada and would be transported by the Keystone XL pipeline. Petcoke, when burned like coal, is one of the dirtiest fuels in the world, resulting in greater greenhouse gas emissions than coal. Like coal, dust from petcoke piles affects air and water quality if it gets loose, threatening the health of citizens in communities nearby.
As reported in the New York Times, petcoke is currently being stored in an open air pile some 3 stories high and one block long, along the river in Detroit, Michigan. The New York Times quoted Rashida Tlaib, the local state Representative, saying: "What is really, really disturbing to me is how some companies treat the city of Detroit as a dumping ground."
Koch Carbon (owned by the infamous Koch Brothers) is dumping this dirty petcoke and letting it sit in the open air, allowing the wind to kick toxic dust into the air and water of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
With the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, production of petcoke will be entrenched for another 40 years, and piles like the one in Detroit will continue. It's time to stand up to Big Oil and the Koch Brothers, and tell them we won't let them dump their trash in our communities.
Measures to protect citizens from hazards associated with petcoke should include at the very least: 1) immediately covering the entire pile with a waterproof structure; 2) building a drainage infrastructure to handle any runoff that does occur, particularly from dust-control measures; 3) installing several air monitors to make sure the dust control is working; and 4) establishing a long-range plan to move the entire pile to a safer location that does not endanger communities or ecosystems.