Attorney General Madigan to call for new petcoke rules
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter February 19, 2014 12:10AM
Updated: February 19, 2014 12:36AM
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will announce legislation Wednesday that will require petcoke loading facilities across the state to fully enclose materials if located within 5,000 feet of a neighborhood.
The bill, created by Madigan’s office and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), is in response to what Madigan’s office calls the “growing air pollution violations” linked to several petcoke storage sites on the Southeast Side.
The legislation, if passed, will affect bulk storage facilities that handle petcoke and other refinery materials within a mile of not only homes, but schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other “vulnerable populations.”
It would require trucks, railcars, boats and barges delivering coke and coal to and from facilities to be covered to minimize emissions. And it would also require that the loading and unloading of coke and coal happen indoors or while dust suppression systems are in operation to minimize dust.
Beemsterboer Slag Co. and KCBX Terminals have been hit with lawsuits and intense political pressure from Madigan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and, most recently, Gov. Pat Quinn, to control petcoke dust.
The companies’ three storage facilities are within a mile, or 5,000 feet of homes. But Beemsterboer was sued by Madigan and the City of Chicago in November, resulting in an interim court order requiring the company to remove piles of petcoke at its 22-acre facility. It also required the company to stop accepting any additional waste materials.