News

24
Apr

Full Steam Ahead

The Erie Coke Plant Community Impact Update on April 16 opened with a short video produced by MenajErie Studio. If you haven’t seen it, take five minutes now. It’s powerful. I’ve watched the video several times, but I still get emotional. There’s something uniquely moving about seeing images filmed near Erie Coke, realizing that our neighbors may be living in dangerous conditions — and feeling the full weight of what it implies about our city that we’ve allowed so many questions to go unanswered. Those questions — and the lack of data regarding air, water, and soil pollution — were...
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21
Apr

Erie environmentalists keep eyes on Erie Coke

Mike Campbell stood on a set of old railroad tracks near the Erie Coke Corp. plant and peered through a thin line of trees toward an open pit filled with piles of black coke and pools of murky water. The standing water is there every time Campbell, a Mercyhurst University science and biology professor, visits the east Erie bayfront site. “It appears that is the water table, where the ground is just saturated with water,” Campbell said. “There is nothing preventing that contaminated water from entering the water table and it would be a miracle if it traveled anywhere other...
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17
Apr

Environmental groups gather to voice Erie Coke concerns

Erie citizens will have a chance later this year to tell the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection how their lives are impacted by pollution coming from the Erie Coke Corp. plant at the foot of East Avenue. It’s a rare opportunity for the general public to have a direct effect on the plant’s future, said Rachel Filippini, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit environmental group. “Erie Coke is operating on an expired Title V permit and when the DEP is ready to issue a new one later this year, there will be a period...
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15
Apr

Our view: Erie Coke must be held accountable

Erie Coke Corp. has appealed a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection order in February that the company take steps to correct a variety of pollution violations that DEP said it found. The company’s appeal argued that DEP’s order is “unreasonable,” among other things. What’s unreasonable is that DEP has been wrangling with Erie Coke for years over air quality and other issues related to the plant at the foot of East Avenue. And that nearby residents, and indeed the entire community, have been exposed to the health ramifications of the company’s checkered (at best) environmental record. Many of the violations...
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