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updated: 5/11/2014 7:42 AM

Illinois activists demand moratorium on 'petcoke'

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Associated Press

Registered nurses and community activists will tour petroleum coke sites in Chicago Monday and publicly demand city officials to declare a moratorium on creating the byproduct they say is a hazard to city residents.

National Nurses United is planning a news conference alongside the Southeast Side Environmental Task Force, Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, and Progressive Democrats of America. They'll announce a letter they've delivered to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It seeks a moratorium "to cease all petcoke operations, transport, and storage within the city until it is learned what impact petcoke has on the health of Chicagoans or until the piles are enclosed."

Petcoke is a grainy, black byproduct petroleum refining.

The city ordered in April that petroleum coke piles be enclosed within two years.

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