Environment & Science
5:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

DEQ says “no” to pet coke along the Detroit River

State environmental officials have rejected a plan to allow piles of petroleum coke to be stored at a location along the Detroit River.

Pet coke piles on the Detroit River, before they were relocated.
Credit James Fassinger Stillscenes

Pet coke is an oil refinery by-product that’s used as an industrial fuel.

The state Department of Environmental Quality said the proposal by Detroit Bulk Storage did not address problems with blowing black dust.

Complaints about dust plumes were among the reasons why Detroit ordered the open piles of pet coke removed from a riverfront location in the city.

The new proposal would have moved the pet coke to a riverfront spot in nearby River Rouge and included covering the piles with tarps if strong winds caused dust clouds.

The DEQ said that’s not enough. At a minimum, the agency said the pet coke would have to be put into some sort of enclosure.

Regulators say the company, Detroit Bulk Storage, can submit a new proposal.

A lawyer for Detroit Bulk Storage told The Associated Press the company is reviewing its options. 

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