Beemsterboer Slag Corp., a company housing petcoke on Chicago's Southeast Side, has shut down its storage operation in the city after facing legal and regulatory pressure, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.
“The city’s residents and our air quality are protected now that the harmful effects of petcoke residue from this major facility are out of this community,” Emanuel said in a statement. “We take this issue very seriously and will not let any company or individuals violate our law and hurt our quality of life in order to make a quick buck.”
The company, based in Indiana, has sold its Calumet Transload Facility, which stored petcoke at 2900 E. 106th St.
"Doing business in the city is increasingly difficult," Alan Beemsterboer, the company's president, told the Times of Northwest Indiana.
Last week, an administrative law judge imposed a $50,000 fine on the company for illegally storing coke and coal materials at its facility for ten days after the city of Chicago issued a cease and desist order on August 7, 2014, according to the mayor's office. Petcoke is a thick, powdery byproduct of oil refining that can pollute the air and water.
The city has recently adopted petcoke regulations, prompted by health and environmental concerns raised by Southeast Side residents. Petcoke facility operators in the city are required to enclose their piles of the oil refining byproduct by 2016, among other regulations.
KCBX Terminals Company is the other company that stores petcoke on Chicago's Southeast Side. That firm is prepared to take legal action against the city if KCBX, controlled by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is not allowed to delay enclosing its petcoke piles for four years.
Read more about the Beemsterboer petcoke news here and here.