Endorsing Global Climate Convergence #ED2MD

GCC-Detroit-SQWe are a Detroit-based group of advocates for the public protecting our environment, our people, and a sustainable future through community engagement and action. An elevated presence must be committed to bring about awareness that this is not merely the fight of activists for a cause. We are fighting to prevent further devastation of the ONLY planet we have. If there is one thing that will kill off mankind most quickly it is the irresponsible actions of mankind. We have become a virus to this planet, one which appears to be determined to wipe itself out. If not for today, then for tomorrow, and the tomorrows of our children, and their children’s children!

“it seems likely that tomorrow’s children will have to force the current system to change in order to preserve the growth we have long taken for granted.” — Motley Fool, December 23, 2013

  • 946370_10200506074427897_975868122_nWe must listen to the cries of mother earth struggling from the loads of pollution permitted, piling up, and driven higher through our consumerism.
  • We must become informed of where things come from, choose products which are friendly and made by your neighbors.
  • When you consume be responsible about the waste and durability of items purchased. Plastic in our dumps and incinerators is destroying life.

Move away from FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE as quickly as you can.

  • Divest your investments and savings from businesses that continue being fossil fuel developers and supporters.
  • Invest in alternative energy that is renewable, delivering clean, low-waste energy.
  • Reduce/eliminate your fossil fuel consumption of motor fuel, plastic containers, disposable plastic wrap, plastic toys, plastic electronics, and more. THINK BEFORE YOU BUY!
  • Fund green initiatives using natural goods friendly to the earth, our waters, and skies.


Shaping The Future

 “Capitalism in its modern form is a very recent phenomenon in human history: we’re only two and a third centuries past Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. It has produced undeniable and huge benefits, but also huge costs: climate instability, depletion of natural resources, pollution on a huge scale, and immiseration and unemployment in the name of progress.” — Charles Stross

Ecorse Petroleum Coke Piles

Petroleum Coke: Is It Safe?

We’ve embedded a meeting notice at the bottom of this post, from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality site. The planned informational session regarding petroleum coke and discussion regarding an upcoming permit application from Detroit Bulk Storage to establish a storage yard at 530 Great Lakes St, River Rouge, bordering on Ecorse with a dock on the Detroit River.

According to the notice MDEQ is out to prove petcoke is not cancerous. What needs to be read are the OSHA guidelines which call this out as a hazardous respiratory product, with recommendations to use a respirator and keep dust from the product off your skin.

Is This An Existing Situation?

O1018958Last year we documented petroleum coke being stored and shipped from this location. We had heard the site was not prepared with a pad to handle storm water flow, and even took some photos showing that condition. You’ll find we even got a photo of the freighter “Saginaw” being loaded at the dock on the property.

Saginaw picking up a load of petroleum coke

Saginaw picking up a load of petroleum coke

Some may say there are no residents neighboring the storage yard location. There is a marina around the corner, and the water of the Detroit River continues to be used throughout metropolitan Detroit, Windsor, and further into Lake Erie.


We’ve also seen the management techniques Detroit Bulk Storage has used, such as a wood panel to keep petcoke piled next to the water from spilling into the river. How they managed to get a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) allowing them to self-treat & monitor emissions of storm water into the Detroit River seems to be a miracle. This is the work being done through our State Implementation Plan of EPA regulations.

Fishermen should be at arms, these chemical deposits are sitting on the bottom of the river affecting a number of deep water species such as catfish. Petcoke does contain compounds which aren’t safe for fish – including lead, and some which even with treatment of storm water isn’t going to remove in sufficient quantity. Nearby Belanger Park has a fishing safety advisory sign listing unsafe species. 

The Detroit Free Press interviewed a couple fishermen in their article from March 3rd. As Bob Griggs said, the attitude seems to be “What’s One More?” It does seem the public has become more aware and concerned in the past year. There has been news coverage of petroleum coke problems in Detroit and SE Chicago/Whiting. We’ve posted the event on Facebook and have a number of people attending and stating they’ll be bringing neighbors and family.

Petroleum coke mixing with storm water

Petroleum coke mixing with storm water

A dock operation in the Port of Toledo continues to handle petcoke hauled by truck from the Marathon Refinery in Detroit, but that’s not the only location to sight petcoke haulers. There’s a regular procession daily from the refinery, down Schaefer, to Jefferson, then to Great Lakes Rd. You’ll find chunks of petcoke littering the road along the path. The condition of the roads is steadily deteriorating. There’s a place on Great Lakes Rd past US Steel that has craters big enough to swallow the front wheels of a car. Last year a water main broke on Rosa Parks Blvd due to the heavy loads traveling in an area that was never prepared to handle them.



Press Conference: Exposing Harmful Health Impacts of Tar Sands

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) held a press conference on Wednesday, February 26th to expose the harmful health implications associated with tar sands oil and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is currently under consideration. Senators Boxer, Whitehouse, doctors and community representatives spoke about the health impacts of tar sands oil on communities across the country.

Feb 26 press conference requesting health impact study on Tar Sands Oil extraction, transportation, refining, and byproducts.

Additional speakers included:

Addressing the Health Impacts

This press conference discusses the health hazards of Tar Sands bitumen processing which has been increasing steadily. Speakers address concerns with EXTRACTION, TRANSPORTATION, REFINING, and handling of BYPRODUCTS in the process. At every stage in this system health hazards have been ignored and public dissent squelched.  In the face of approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, the senators are calling on Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama Administration to conduct “an immediate and comprehensive study” of the public health risks to communities.

BituminousSandExtraction has principally been from northern Alberta Canada. Additional locations in North America include eastern Utah, Companies involved include Suncor Energy, Syncrude, and a consortium from Shell Canada, Chevron Corporation, and Marathon Oil.

Transportation via railway and pipeline for Tar Sands bitumen is being handled by these companies and many more: Keystone XL, Enbridge, and TransCanada with networks that spider across North America crossing farmlands and aquifers (those areas we depend on for domestic production of food and water). Transportation spills are reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

Refinery operations of note in Texas, Indiana/Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. According to Oil Change International’s report from December 2013 – Over 70 percent of all tar sands crude refined in the U.S. was processed in the Midwest refining region. Over one-third of all the crude refined there was sourced from the tar sands.


Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands