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Jacknife Accident Brings New Levels of Concern to Petcoke Parkway

By JoshMogerman in News on Jun 15, 2014 6:00PM

Southeast siders have been waging a high-profile campaign against the giant piles of petcoke that have popped up in their midst recently.

The mounds of dusty oil refining waste streaming out of the nearby BP refinery in Whiting, IN, and perhaps elsewhere, are viewed as a blight and potential health threat. They have brought about new city regulations and a series of pollution enforcement actions—including one this month from USEPA after particulate matter levels detected by air monitors spiked.

For neighbors, though, the piles are just part of the problem. The infrastructure for bringing petcoke to the area has drawn local ire. A parade of large trucks haul it to facilities, turning 106th Street into a veritable petcoke parkway. Neighbors have complained about the dust coming off trucks and access roads, diesel fumes and the overall nuisance that the increased truck traffic has brought.

And after this weekend, you can probably add safety concerns to the list of reasonable gripes.

We got pictures and angry messages from a Southeast sider Friday night after one of the trucks thought to contain the substance jackknifed at the busy intersection of 106th and Indianapolis by the Indiana border with the city. The dumped load was a concern, but during the busy evening commute the delays caused by the accident and threat of heavy trucks barreling through the area were an added issue weighing on neighbors.