Petcoke at Zug Island

Cleanup at Rosa Parks Dock Site and Beyond

Tuesday August 27 was the announced final date for clean-up of petroleum coke from the Detroit Bulk Storage dock site at 115 Rosa Parks Blvd. One of our cameras made a visit and recorded the video below, showing evidence that a pile still exists on the site. According to Dan Chirrin (of North Coast Strategies, public relations for Detroit Bulk Storage) – the asphalt pad is being pulled up in 50×50 sections to minimize dust. Could this have been happening to meet the deadline of August 27? They have asked for an extension of time to fully clear the dock. MDEQ spokesperson Brad Wurfel continues to say it is not harmful to humans… the residents would like to ask the MDEQ spokesperson to come spend an afternoon touring the petroleum coke piles. We believe his statement may alter after several days of headaches and burning sensation in his nose. This is a common experience of those who are not present to them daily.

The public has been asking for city administration to step up and enforce the law. We keep hearing Detroit Bulk Storage is “working toward compliance”. Lets get real with this – they have been non-compliant (aka ILLEGAL) for months! Illegal dumping (without a permit) has been going on at this site since November 2012. Back in 2003 City of Detroit decriminalized illegal dumping turning it into a civil infraction. The regrets of passing that change to the law were caught in this article in the Metro Times. The city still lists illegal dumping in progress as reportable to 911 Emergency Response.

A FOIA request was submitted last week for correction orders and tickets issued at this site from City of Detroit Environmental Affairs and those departments they have worked with. We are waiting for a response.

State-side Illegal Offence

Illegal dumping remains as a STATE criminal offence and thus reports to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality need to be followed up with appropriate action as well. The sludge in the storm drains we beleive is a crime.

MDEQ – Environmental Investigation Section

The following is from the State of Michigan website:

The Environmental Investigation Section (EIS) Mission is to protect the public health and natural resources in a professional manner, utilizing proactive methods, teamwork and partnerships, delivering prompt, high quality and thorough investigations of suspected violations of environmental laws.

EIS strives to be a key component of Michigan’s law enforcement mainstream, consistently solving complex violations of environmental laws, and providing a resource for local communities faced with environmental conflicts of a criminal nature.

The EIS serves as the investigative and law enforcement specialist for the DEQ.  This includes conducting, supervising, and coordinating criminal, civil, and administrative investigations into suspected violations of Michigan’s environmental statutes and cooperating with other divisions, departments, and agencies.  EIS is comprised of specially trained Conservation Officers who determine appropriate regulations, initiate legal actions, and represent the department in negotiations for restitution, penalties and damages.  The EIS conducts training to help local law enforcement officers and other enforcement personnel to develop community partnerships to combat illegal dumping at the local level.  EIS has two units: Western and Eastern.

Please contact Detective Kenneth Montgomery, 586-753-3720 who is based in the Warren MDEQ office. Ask him how the investigation into Detroit Bulk Storage operations in Detroit and River Rouge has been handled thus far. Have they made visits to the various sites? Have tickets been issued? How well is the business “working toward compliance” versus being ILLEGAL?

MDEQ received a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan filed May 28  This was approved by MDEQ and a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was issued by MDEQ to DBS. A challenge to the NPDES is needed quickly.

River Rouge Petroleum Coke Piles

Video previously shared through the site.

Photos of Zug Island Petroleum Coke Piles

Please note Zug Island is in Detroit’s Delray community. Look for evidence of being stored properly – on concave asphalt pad, covered (treated with polymer), and storm water management such that run-off doesn’t go into the Detroit River directly.

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Zug Island
Zug Island
Zug Island



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