Tar Sands-Free Midwest, Southeast Environmental Task Force
Tar Sands Mining, Pipelines across US (including the notorious Keystone), the BP Refinery in Whiting, and the End Result of a Huge Quantity of Petcoke
Meeting # 3,262 - Tom Shephard and Debra Michaud
"BP’s other very messy shoe is dropping now. With the expansion of their Whiting Refinery into one of the biggest tar sands processors on the planet, the increases in toxins dumped into the waters of Lake Michigan and airshed of Chicago and Northwest Indiana have triggered public outrage. But now a new pollution stream out of the facility is making itself known along the banks of the Calumet River.
Lots and lots and lots of petcoke, a coal-like waste product that comes in high volumes from tar sands refining, is being dumped in massive piles near homes on Chicago’s southeast side. These neighborhoods are already suffering from an array of unfair environmental burdens, including long-standing coal piles that have sent dangerous wind-whipped particulate matter into the surrounding areas. Now that the coal piles are disappearing (in no small part due to the closure of the nearby Stateline coal plant and its Chicago cohorts Fisk and Crawford), they are being replaced with five-story mounds of petcoke, a crumbly material rich in heavy metals that is even more prone to blowing.
BP Whiting is now the second biggest producer of petcoke amongst American refineries."