Illinois files emergency rules for petcoke

A petroleum coke storage facility on Chicago's Southeast Side.

January 13, 2014 12:14:34 PM PST
Illinois officials are finalizing statewide regulations for the storage and handling of petroleum coke.

Governor Pat Quinn announced Monday that emergency rules are being filed this week with the Illinois Secretary of State. They'll be reviewed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board and are expected to take effect before the end of the month.

The rules require storage facilities to install dust suppression systems, among other things.

''No one should have to eat, sleep or work with harmful dust blowing into their community," Governor Quinn said in a release. ''No matter who you are or where you live, everyone has a right to a healthy environment. These rules will make sure that no one in Illinois has to worry about petroleum coke,'' Quinn said.

They mimic standards outlined in an agreement announced last month between the city and an Indiana company that stores and handles the substance.

Last month, city and state officials reached an agreement with the company to remove petroleum coke from Chicago's Southeast Side.

Petcoke is a byproduct of oil refining that's been accumulating along shipping channels and has sparked health and environmental concerns.

The rules will take effect on an emergency basis upon filing with the Secretary of State later this week. This action triggers a series of actions to be taken by the Illinois Pollution Control Board, which include a required three-step notice process that incorporates public testimony and hearings as well as legal and economic impacts before official and permanent adoption.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.