Policy: Environment & Energy

Congress members seek US probe of petcoke safety

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Photo - This Feb. 28, 2014 photo shows Detroit Bulk Storage headquarters in River Rouge, Mich.   Photographed on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. A proposal to store petroleum coke along the Detroit River has drawn opposition from some area residents after problems at another southeastern Michigan storage site. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality plans a community meeting Wednesday, March 5 in Wyandotte on the proposal to use a 15-acre site in nearby River Rouge. Petcoke piles along the river in Detroit drew complaints last year and city officials ordered them removed.  (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Romain Blanquart)  DETROIT NEWS OUT;  NO SALES
This Feb. 28, 2014 photo shows Detroit Bulk Storage headquarters in River Rouge, Mich. Photographed on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. A proposal to store petroleum coke along the Detroit River has drawn opposition from some area residents after problems at another southeastern Michigan storage site. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality plans a community meeting Wednesday, March 5 in Wyandotte on the proposal to use a 15-acre site in nearby River Rouge. Petcoke piles along the river in Detroit drew complaints last year and city officials ordered them removed. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Romain Blanquart) DETROIT NEWS OUT; NO SALES
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WYANDOTTE, Mich. (AP) — U.S. Reps. Gary Peters of Michigan and Mike Quigley of Illinois have requested a federal investigation to find "best practices for transporting and storing petroleum coke" and to study its effects on human health.

Petcoke is a solid byproduct of petroleum refining and commonly burned as fuel in cement kilns and power plants.

The Democratic lawmakers made the request Wednesday, the same day the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality heard public criticism at a community meeting in the Detroit suburb of Wyandotte on a request to store petroleum coke along the Detroit River.

Petcoke piles along the Detroit River drew complaints last year and Detroit officials ordered them removed. Detroit Bulk Storage appealed the decision and is seeking a state air permit to handle petcoke at a River Rouge site.

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