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Koch Brothers Threaten to Sue Over New Petcoke Ordinance

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A legal battle is brewing over one of the greatest environmental hazards faces Chicago right now: petcoke. Gigantic piles of petroleum coke, a waste product from refining Canadian tar sands, line the Calumet River on the city's far southeast side causing dramatic reductions in air quality and water pollution in the area. Earlier this year, the city passed an ordinance that prohibits the expansion of any existing or establishment of any new petcoke facilities. The city has also ordered that the petcoke piles be contained in covered storage sheds by 2016. However, KCBX Terminals, a subsidiary of Koch Industries is firing back at the city, and threatening to sue in order to keep the piles uncovered for another four years, the Tribune reports.
The company also wants to expand the amount of petcoke stored in Chicago, and raise the height of the piles to 45 feet tall. Southeast Side residents have been fighting the petcoke piles, and regularly host community meetings to discuss the issue, hoping that the city will ban storage of the toxic substance within city limits. However, if KCBX does take the issue to court, the Tribune reports that the piles could potentially remain uncovered indefinitely.
·Koch brothers' petcoke firm threatens lawsuit over city rules [Chicago Tribune]
·Here Now, Images of Chicago's Gigantic Toxic Petcoke Piles [Curbed Chicago]