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UPDATE: Windsor chapter fights petcoke now being burned in Nova Scotia

The Chronicle-Herald reports, “Detroit’s enormous petroleum coke pile, a byproduct of Canadian oil sands, is making its way back to Canada. A Canadian electrical power plant, owned by Nova Scotia Power, is chipping away at the three-storey-high, block-long pile of petroleum coke on Detroit’s waterfront. The company is burning the high-carbon, high-sulfur waste product because it is cheaper than natural gas.”

The article adds, “The uncovered black pile, which has angered and upset some residents of Detroit as well as others across the river in Windsor, Ontario, began appearing earlier this year. Owned by Koch Carbon, a company controlled by the industrialists Charles and David Koch, it is a byproduct of processing heavy bitumen piped from the oil sands in Alberta to a Detroit refinery. Its final destination had been something of a mystery. Most petroleum coke, often referred to in the oil industry as petcoke, is used as inexpensive fuel in countries like China, India and Mexico with relatively loose emissions controls.”

“Residents on both sides of the Detroit River have noted regular visits to the coal pile by two self-unloading, ocean-going bulk carriers owned by Canada Steamship Lines of Montreal. Websites that track ship movements indicate that one of those ships, the Atlantic Huron, has made several trips this year from Detroit to a coal terminal in Sydney. The terminal services two Nova Scotia Power plants that burn petroleum coke, according to regulatory documents.

A power station at Point Aconi in Nova Scotia that uses the petcoke has an unusual burning system that minimizes some forms of pollution from high-sulfur fuels. …Despite the regular visits to Detroit by ships to take away the petcoke, the oil sands bitumen refinery there is producing the material at a rate which means the waterfront pile continues to grow.”

In early-March, the Council of Canadians Windsor chapter began raising concerns about the tar sands by-product being stored near the Detroit River. The Detroit River is a 24-nautical mile river that travels south from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. It divides Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. The issue gained greater prominence when it was recently reported on by the New York Times.

For more, please read:
NEWS: Tar sands by-product dump on Detroit River lacks required permits
NEWS: Billionaire Koch brothers own tar sands waste-pile near Windsor
NEWS: Windsor chapter to protest tar sands on the Detroit River