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Deal Requires Removal of Chicago ‘Petcoke’ Piles

Residents on the Southeast Side say clouds of black dust from heaping piles of petcoke -- a byproduct of the oil refining process -- consistently blow in and around their homes. (Credit: Zimmerman Law Offices)

Residents on the Southeast Side say clouds of black dust from heaping piles of petcoke — a byproduct of the oil refining process — consistently blow in and around their homes. (Credit: Zimmerman Law Offices)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office says Chicago and state officials have reached a deal with an Indiana company that will require it to remove huge black piles of petroleum coke from the city’s Southeast Side.

Known as “petcoke,” the material is a powdery byproduct of oil refining that’s been accumulating along Midwest shipping channels and sparking health and environmental concerns.

Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the deal Thursday.

The mayor said in a statement that officials are “working to force these petroleum coke facilities to either clean up or shut down.”

Hammond, Ind.-based Beemsterboer Slag Corp. could not be reached for comment Thursday.

But the company has already been removing carbon-based products from its Chicago facilities and has said it is cooperating fully with Illinois officials.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)