Southeast Side Chicagoans and environmentalists rallied at the Thompson Center Monday morning, urging public officials to reject requests that would allow petcoke storage facilities "to avoid compliance with city rules for years, if ever."
The city has recently adopted petcoke regulations, prompted by health and environmental concerns raised by residents of the Southeast Side, where the oil refining byproduct is stored. Petcoke facility operators in the city are required to enclose their petcoke piles by 2016, among other regulations.
KCBX Terminals Company, controlled by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, is one of the firms that stores petcoke on Chicago's Southeast Side. That company is prepared to take legal action against the city if is not allowed to delay enclosing its petcoke piles for four years.
"The Southeast Environmental Task Force, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, National Nurses United, Reclaim Chicago and the Natural Resources Defense Council are bringing neighbors to the Loop to deliver letters to public officials calling on them to force KCBX, a Koch-brothers owned company, to enclose their petcoke piles as required by city law, or close," a press release reads.
The group planned to deliver letters with their demands to the offices of the mayor, Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Attorney General.