Friday and Saturday (August 30-31 2013) were times of community gathering in River Rouge – it was River Rouge Appreciation Day and about 100 people came out to Belanger Park for food, discussion, and entertainment. During the event I was given the opportunity to discuss progress DCATS has taken in the fight for environmental justice related to petroleum coke stored along the Detroit River inappropriately.
Later at the event I had a chance to speak with Mayor Michael Bowdler of River Rouge. He indicated the city is working with Rick Hardy, a scientist, on the situation and some confusion as to how much was stored in the city of River Rouge.
The access road – Great Lakes Rd – runs down the border of River Rouge and Ecorse. At the tail of the road near the river the yard makes a turn toward Ecorse, leaving about 10% of the dock area in River Rouge and 90% in Ecorse. He welcomed DCATS attendance at upcoming city council events as a concerned and active community interested in environmental justice.
Another person I met at the gathering is running for State Representative in District 6, her name is Stephanie Gray Chang. She was very interested in the petroleum coke story and actions which are ongoing.
I met a few more people from Sierra Club of Metropolitan Detroit and even went on a quick photo opportunity of the Ecorse storage location of petroleum coke.
By Stephen Boyle 2013