Chicago Residents Say Koch Industries Settlement Not Enough

PetcokeA few months after Wichita-based Koch Industries agreed to a tentative settlement in a 2013 class action lawsuit over its storage of oil refining byproducts in Chicago, homeowners are asking a federal judge to turn down the $1.4 million in settlements.

In a filing this week, 20 of the plaintiffs who live in neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago told U.S. District Court Judge Manish Shah it wasn’t enough to repair years of damage to their homes and yards. They argued it would amount to payments of $60 to each of the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs in the class-action suit also tentatively agreed in March to settle with KCBX Terminals Company and Koch Carbon, LLC. The suit alleged the refinery waste called petcoke and its dust covered their homes and property in a black film. They charged the companies of storing the oil refinery byproduct near neighborhoods without proper covering.

KCBX earlier had paid a $35,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement with the State of Illinois in the fall of 2015 after the state claimed the petcoke stored on the company site was leaking into the river. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency also issued a notice of violation against KCBX after dust samples from homes indicated the levels were in violation of the Clean Air Act.



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