Come July 1, a company storing petcoke in Chicago will not be allowed to have any more of the material move through or be held at one of its two sites on the Southeast Side.
The city of Chicago informed KCBX Terminals Company of the new petcoke limits for its facility last month, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Specifically, the company's "north facility," located near 100th Street and Commercial Avenue, was assigned "a 'throughput' rate and maximum-daily-amount-held-on-site limit of zero" by the city.
The city's decision prevents the company after this month from having more petcoke transferred through or placed at its north facility and further "ensures that KCBX cannot restart coke and coal operations at the north site if its business plans change, or sell or lease the site to new owners in the petcoke business," NRDC said in a news release.
KCBX, which is controlled by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, also has a petcoke facility at 108th Street and Burley Avenue. A "throughput" decision for the company's "south facility" has not yet been made by the city.
According to the environmental group, KCBX announced in February that it planned to "move petcoke piles off the south site and convert it into a direct transfer facility, where the material would be shifted between trucks, trains, barges and freighters without land storage."
NRDC Midwest director Henry Henderson and Southeast Environmental Task Force Executive Director Peggy Salazar issued this joint statement in response to the city's decision regarding KCBX's north facility:
When the fight over petcoke on the Southeast Side started, we were battling three massive facilities. The city's letter ensures we are down to a single site left blighting the area. The neighbors don't believe that petcoke has a place so close to their homes, parks and schools. We agree, and hope the city will take similar action at KCBX's south facility to relieve the Southeast Side of this unhealthy polluting burden.
Even when the piles are gone from KCBX's south facility, the burden will not be lifted from its neighbors--just shifted. The constant boat, barge, train and truck traffic from an industrial petcoke transfer site will likely bring health and quality of life impacts that the neighbors have made clear that they will not accept. They are calling for a zero throughput rate at this site, and we think it makes sense here, too.
When it comes to the south Site, we hope the City will keep putting people over petcoke.