Michigan Congressman Questioning Petroleum Coke Health Risks

Rep. Gary Peters (D - Mich) has questions about the massive amounts of petroleum coke piling up along the Detroit riverfront. The heap of petcoke nears three story's in height, and is an entire city block in girth.

The substance, a byproduct of Canada's oil sands, is exposed and uncovered, and Rep. Peters wants to know if it is more than an eyesore. As information on the health risks of petcoke is scarce, Peters made an attempt on Wednesday to have an amendment to Keystone Pipeline legislation made by Congress that would force a study to be conducted on the environmental and health impacts of petroleum coke.

The amendment was rejected by the House. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has released findings that give an indication that the substance poses little threat to the health of humans or fish.

The biggest of the piles is on a parcel of industrial property that is owned by Matty Mouron, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge. The land is leased to Detriot Bulk Storage, a company handling materials for Koch Carbon, a business controlled by billionaires David and Charles Koch.