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The stricter rules could bring relief to those who breathe black dust from the nearby refineries
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office says Chicago and state officials have reached a deal with an Indiana company that will require it to remove huge black piles of petroleum coke from the city's Southeast Side.
Known as "petcoke," the material is a powdery byproduct of oil refining that's been accumulating along Midwest shipping channels and sparking health and environmental concerns.
Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan plan to announce the deal Thursday.
The mayor said in a statement that officials are "working to force these petroleum coke facilities to either clean up or shut down."
Hammond, Ind.-based Beemsterboer Slag Corp. could not be reached for comment Thursday. But the company has already been removing carbon-based products from its Chicago facilities and has said it is cooperating fully with Illinois officials.
The state EPA has reportedly demanded the company reduce the pollution at the site, apply for necessary permits and file pollution reduction plans.
The suit claims the dusty air prevents residents from enjoying outdoor activities and alleges the companies have refused and continue to refuse to take measures to stop the migration of the material into the surrounding neighborhoods.