"Chicago Stops Short of Petroleum Coke Ban"

"Zoning changes prohibit new storage sites, but 3 dumps can remain despite neighbors' protests."

"Neighborhood groups on Tuesday failed to persuade Chicago aldermen to ban dusty piles of petroleum coke on the Southeast Side, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration scuttled a proposal that would have allowed factories to store and burn the refinery byproduct anywhere in the city.

A revised zoning ordinance from the mayor's office, sent to the City Council for an expected vote Wednesday, outlaws new storage terminals while requiring three existing operations along the Calumet River to file quarterly reports on the amount of petroleum coke and coal shipped through Chicago.

Emanuel aides said the zoning restrictions, combined with regulations that require the three terminals to enclose their piles within two years, will give Chicago the nation's toughest limits on black mounds of petroleum coke rising near refineries that are shifting to thicker, dirtier oil from the tar sands region of Alberta."

Michael Hawthorne reports for the Chicago Tribune April 30, 2014.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014