Metro-East town covered in soot, city officials say it's normal

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by Cory Stark / News 4 and Ruella Rouf / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 9:44 PM

(KMOV.com) – Black soot is building up on cars and homes in Granite City, and residents say that industrial plants are responsible.

Granite City residents said that US Steel and Suncoke Energy are the two industrial plants responsible for the black soot in the air. They suspect the origin is the coke oven that has recently been installed at the Suncoke Plant.

“SInce they opened up that new coke oven, it's just horrible. You can tell the house is all covered, the neighbors’ houses, and inside the houses,” said resident Gary Walliser.

Walliser said he wrote a letter to state officials which led to a phone call from the Illinois EPA office. The EPA office had little to say.

Illinois EPA representatives did not respond to News 4’s interview requests, neither did US Steel nor Suncoke Energy.

But frustration with residents is building.

“You can't keep cars clean, you can't keep your home clean, you can't even open the windows during the day,” said one resident.

“Do something and quit ignoring us over here,” said another resident.

Granite City officials, on the other hand, said that they have not received a large number of complaints regarding the soot. They said it has been a continuous issue that comes with living near such industrial plants.

 

Residents do not buy the response and feel that something can be done.

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