Protesters camp out overnight against pet coke

Protesters camp out overnight against pet coke

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A two-day march, rally and an overnight sit-in against petroleum coke got underway Sunday along the Detroit River. The Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands (DCATS) organized the event at Clark Park.

Click on the video player to watch Erika Erickson's report.

The group says the mountains of pet coke are not just an eyesore, they're an environmental hazard. The substance, a byproduct of tar sands oil refining, is coming from the Marathon Petroleum refinery in southwest Detroit.

State lawmakers including US Representatives John Conyers and Gary Peters, have called for an investigation into the dangers of pet coke. They want the state to ensure its being properly stored and does not pose a danger to area residents.

But a previous report from the Department of Environmental Quality states pet coke causes no immediate environmental or health threat. Those who are breathing it in beg to differ. While some of the mounds have been removed, neighbors say the dust is still blowing and more needs to be done.

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