Petcoke could make a comeback near river

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The snow may not be going anywhere for a while, but the site near the banks of the Detroit River may welcome back those massive black piles of petroleum coke. Nearby residents say they'd rather deal with nature's dusting.

"Constant odor." said Mark Kincannon, describing petcoke, "It's damaging our riverfront. Polluting the water. We don't like it."

When the wind picked up last year, dusty piles of petcoke moved into the direction of Kincannon's home. The material is not officially listed as toxic, but the crude byproduct may contain heavy metals and sulfur.

Detroit Bulk Storage kept the petcoke just east of the Ambassador Bridge for more than a year without a permit. Last summer, the City Of Detroit rejected DBS's permit application, which meant the petcoke had to go. Now, the company's appealing the ruling, and a hearing is days away.

"We were glad when they left." said Kincannon, "You got two new parks coming up. They could move it Downriver, go to an industrial park somewhere. But we don't need it right here."

Detroit Bulk Storage did not return calls to Action News, but we've learned the company has also applied for a permit to store petcoke at another riverfront site in the River Rouge area. Residents say it may be a better alternative than having the piles return to the original site.

"This is an environment here where you have homes coming up." said Kincannon, "There's a new park. We're building. And the people, the people are going to suffer. We don't need it here."

The hearing on the appeal is set for February 11 at the Detroit's City County building.


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