Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: 'Petcoke' stirs anger in Chicago and Detroit neighbourhoods

Petroleum coke, the powdery byproduct of oil refining, has been accumulating along Midwest shipping channels and sparking a new wave of health and environmental concerns

1 of 8

A large pile of petcoke, located close to the Detroit River at Clark St. and Jefferson just west of the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. Hulking black mounds that rose along the banks of the Detroit River earlier this year prompted concerns about potential pollution and led the city to order their removal.

KATHLEEN GALLIGAN/AP

2 of 8

A truck unloads a large pile of petcoke in Detroit. Petcoke began appearing along the Detroit River in the spring, several months after the Marathon Oil refinery completed a $2.2-billion expansion.

KATHLEEN GALLIGAN/AP

3 of 8

Petcoke is watered down where it is stored along the Calumet River on Chicago's southeast side. The byproduct of oil refining has been piling up along Midwest shipping channels and sparked waves of environmental concerns.

CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

4 of 8

Petcoke is stored on barges on the Calumet River near the Chicago Skyway Bridge in Chicago. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered the city Health Department to adopt regulations for petcoke, while aldermen introduced competing ordinances to regulate or ban it outright.

CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 8

A large mound of petcoke is seen in the background near a residential neighbourhood on Chicago's southeast side. Heavy industry and working-class residents have co-existed for generations in the area – one neighbourhood is even called Slag Valley.

CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

6 of 8

This Aug. 30, 2013, cellphone image shows a dust cloud rising from piles of petroleum coke during a storm near residences on the southeast side of Chicago.

ANTHONY MARTINEZ/AP

7 of 8

The Willis Tower in downtown Chicago provides a backdrop to a huge mound of petcoke. The mayor of Chicago is considering requiring that piles be completely or partly enclosed.

CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP

8 of 8

Serene Arena wipes down her countertop and shows the end result in her Lafayette apartment loft overlooking a petcoke pile in Detroit. Arena said she began noticing a strange dust on her countertops after petcoke piles rose along the banks of the Detroit River earlier this year.

ANDRE J. JACKSON/AP

Report an error