(CBS) — People on the Southeast Side say the winds have been kicking up nasty black dust coming from old pet coke piles.
Petcokealerts.org is a website that sends out texts when windy conditions create a potential for dust from open piles of oil refining waste to be spread around neighborhoods. They sent those texts out 25 times in October.
KCBX has been sued by the state to clean up 30-foot tall piles of pet coke along the banks of the Calumet River.
Olga Bautista lives nearby and says her children are breathing it in every day.
“There’s like heavy metals, causes abrasions in the lungs and can cause things like COPD and other things,” Bautista.
Two community groups are marching on Tuesday between Agri-Fine on Torrance to KCBX on Commercial. Bautista says they want human rights to come before polluter’s rights.
Updated: Note that the original version of the story erroneously stated that Agri-Fine (www.agri-fine.com) has been sued by the state to clean up pet coke along the banks of the Calumet River. That statement was inaccurate and has been RETRACTED. CBS Chicago regrets the error.