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Detroit residents protest petroleum coke dumping

DETROIT (WKZO) -- Activists took to the streets of Detroit Monday to protest the dumping of petroleum coke.

Roughly two-dozen protesters blocked intersections in an attempt to stop trucks from dumping loads of the tar sands byproduct.  Organizers claim that a large pile of the pet coke has been collecting near the Detroit River since March and say it’s seeping into the water and forcing surrounding residents to breathe in the toxic dust.

In April, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued a report stating that the tar sands byproduct does not pose a threat to human health.  The pet coke is trucked to the site near the river from nearby refineries, where it is stored until being loaded onto freighters.