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BP oil refinery waste piles up on Southeast Side

By the end of the year, the oil giant BP is expected to complete work on new equipment that will more than triple the amount of petroleum coke produced by its Whiting refinery on Lake Michigan, the Chicago Tribune reports. The project will turn the sprawling Indiana plant into the world's second-largest source of petroleum coke, also known as petcoke, and Chicago into one of the biggest repositories of the high-sulfur, high-carbon waste.

BP this week confirmed that all of its petcoke is shipped a few miles across the state border to sites in the East Side and South Deering neighborhoods. Residents say black clouds of dust blow off uncovered piles of petcoke and coal in the area so frequently that people are forced to keep their children inside with the windows closed.

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