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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:55pm
Thu Jun 9

Chicago's Southeast Siders Secure Petcoke Victory, Detail Next Steps In Campaign

Chicago's far Southeast Side residents are applauding progress in their campaign against petcoke storage in their community, but say they aren't done fighting for a complete city ban on the oil refining byproduct.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, members of the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke said they secured a major victory now that, under a city order, a company storing petcoke in their community can no longer have uncovered outdoor piles of the material.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
5:59pm
Tue May 17

Environmentalists Demand Transition To Renewable Energy At BP Whiting Refinery, 41 Arrested

More than 1,000 environmentalists and Chicago-area residents protested at the BP Refinery in Whiting, Indiana demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels and a transition to the sole use of renewable energy.

"From the toxic waste created by extreme extraction of tar sands destroying indigenous communities in Canada, to toxins created by the BP Whiting refinery producing sacrifice communities in the Greater Chicago area, to the catastrophic effect on our climate, the urgent need for a just transition away from fossil fuels to a 100 percent renewable energy economy is abundantly clear," said Mariah Urueta, a Food & Water Watch Michigan organizer.

The protesters, joined by more than 70 local and national organizations, walked two miles through area neighborhoods, ending the march in front of the refinery. There, they sat in a circle at the facility's gates Sunday until 41 of the protesters were arrested by police donning riot gear. Those arrested were released shortly after being charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The protest took place as news broke that April's temps exceeded global records, which is the seventh consecutive month of such news, sparking analysts to contend that 2016 will likely be the hottest year on record by far.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:03pm
Wed Aug 5, 2015

Petcoke Battle Continues On Chicago's Southeast Side

Progress Illinois recaps the latest news involving the petcoke issue on Chicago's Southeast Side.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:28pm
Tue Jun 24, 2014

Southeast Side Chicagoans Want Answers About Reported Uptick In Petcoke-Filled Trains

Southeast Side Chicagoans are sounding the alarm on the latest environmental and public safety issue impacting their communities — an alleged uptick in trains transporting uncovered piles of petcoke, a byproduct of oil refining.

Over the past two months, some Southeast Side residents say they have noticed increased train traffic on old rail lines in the Hegewisch community that have previously been unused for many years. The trains, many of which pull more than 100 cars, are moving in and out of the area day and night, said Tom Shepherd of the Southeast Environmental Task Force. 

Shepherd said the trains are carrying unenclosed petcoke, which is mostly coming from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana and stockpiled at storage facilities along the Calumet River on Chicago's far Southeast Side. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:25pm
Mon May 12, 2014

National Nurses United, Southeast Siders Rally For Chicago Petcoke Moratorium At City Hall

Registered nurses and community activists rallied at Chicago's City Hall Monday afternoon, demanding that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and council members install an immediate moratorium on all petcoke operations in the city.

Chanting "Moratorium now!", dozens of Southeast Side residents, members of National Nurses United and other allies delivered a letter to the mayor's office, urging Chicago's elected officials to "cease all petcoke operations, transport and storage within the city until it is learned what impact petcoke has on the health of Chicagoans or until the piles are enclosed."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:47pm
Wed Apr 30, 2014

Chicago City Council Passes Plastic Bag Ban, Petcoke Regulations

The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to partially ban plastic shopping bags and put in place tougher regulations for petcoke facilities. Progress Illinois takes a look at the two issues as well as other highlights from the council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:00pm
Tue Apr 29, 2014

Chicago Petcoke Ordinance Passes Key Hurdle

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s revised ordinance to regulate petcoke stored in Chicago cleared the city council's zoning committee Tuesday, despite an outpouring of objection from residents who want nothing short of a complete, citywide ban on the material. Progress Illinois was there for the hearing.

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