Detroit Mayor Dave Bing orders removal of pet coke piles
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has ordered piles of petroleum coke being stored on the banks of the Detroit River be removed.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said Detroit Bulk Storage failed to remove all of the pet coke by Aug. 9, "as directed by a Correction Order issued by the City’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department."
The department cited Detroit Bulk Storage for being in violation of the Detroit property maintenance code and/or official zoning ordinance.
Bing has now ordered the pet coke be removed by Aug. 27.
The mayor also ordered that between now and Aug. 27, the pet coke must be covered by a tarp "to protect the public health and safety of our residents."
"We are keenly aware of the health concerns of our neighbouring residents and are firmly committed to resolving this situation as soon as possible," Bing said in a statement.
Last month, video of pet coke dust blowing off the piles and floating over the Detroit River surfaced on Youtube.
"Detroit Bulk Storage personnel have assured us that no new materials are being brought onto the site, and all of their activity is concentrated on offsite removal of the pet coke," Bing said in a statement.
State Representative Rashida Tlaib praised the citizens of Detroit.
"Neighbours, I can’t express enough how proud I am for all of your efforts. I am blessed to have active and passionate neighbours that know what they deserve and fight for it," she wrote in an emailed statement.
Tlaib said the pet coke "needed to be covered immediately ... so it is not flying all over our neighbourhood."
Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse called Bing's orders "great news."
He said removing the pet coke is good for both the environment and aesthetics of the riverfront.
"To see the mayor move this decisively is very positive news. The mayor's actions stand tall," Masse said.