Detroit Free Press: Sen. Peters again calls for pet coke study

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is again introducing legislation calling for a study into the health and environmental impacts of petroleum coke, a refinery by-product that two years ago caused concerns when it was piled several stories high next to the Detroit River.

Peters' office said Wednesday that he has proposed the legislation along with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Two years ago, Peters proposed similar legislation when he was a member of the U.S. House.

The legislation, if approved, would require a federal study into the potential health and environmental impacts posed by petroleum, or "pet," coke, and, depending on the results, could lead to safety regulations for its storage and transportation.

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., proposed companion legislation in the U.S. House earlier this year.

"In 2013, pet coke that was stored improperly along the Detroit River blew into nearby neighborhoods," Peters said. "While those piles have since been removed, fully understanding the public health and environmental risks associated with pet coke is critical."

By:  Todd Spangler