Detroit Mayor Dave Bing today ordered the removal of petroleum coke piles stored along the Detroit River by Aug. 27 and said the shrinking piles should be covered until their removal.
“We are keenly aware of the health concerns of our neighboring residents and are firmly committed to resolving this situation as soon as possible,” Bing said in a statement.
The pet coke, a byproduct of tar sands oil refining, has caused controversy for months since four-story-high piles appeared along the Detroit River near the Ambassador Bridge. Many local residents protested the eyesore and the potential for the piles to pollute both the air and the river.
A video shot July 27 by Randy Emerson, a member of the Windsor on Watch citizens environmental group, showed dust from pet coke piles creating a swirling black cloud over the Detroit River and further galvanized opposition to the piles.
The piles are owned by Koch Carbon and come from the Marathon Detroit Refinery. Detroit Bulk Storage is storing the pet coke on property owned by billionaire and Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun and leased to Norfolk Southern railroad.
Koch Carbon announced last month that it is moving the piles to Ohio “to meet our shipment needs.”
The Bridge Troll! Imagine my surprise.