An Environmental Disaster in Chicago

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Chicago is no stranger to the hazards of being an industrial town, and residents of the Southeast Side have lived with the more pervasive realities of industry for over a century. Petcoke is the latest iteration of this struggle: another chapter of confusion, ignorance, and inconsistent government action.

The wind that blows along Lake Michigan’s shores certainly does not stop for byproducts of oil refining, and residents of the Southeast Side have been facing the almost non-stop dispersal of stray dust from the faces of the black hills for over eighty years. Whether it’s hills of petcoke or coal dust, relief only comes when it snows.

-Ari Feldman, in South Side Weekly, about the environmental disaster of petcoke on the Southeast Side of Chicago.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Sam Stecklow is a contributor to Longreads' blog, an editorial fellow at The Morning News, a contributor to The Airspace, and has seen every episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun.
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