News

18
Sep

DEP Opens Investigation Near Erie Coke Following Passive Air Monitoring Sampling Results

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has opened a follow-up investigation near Erie Coke because of the results of the department’s new passive air monitoring sampling. DEP, which received the first three sets of passive air sampling results, found that monitors had indicated that benzene concentrations exceeded a specific action level set forth in the sampling plan. This plan calls for further investigation when the 1.3 µg/m3 action level is exceeded for three sampling events in a rolling 90-day period. “These levels do not indicate an immediate risk for the community; however, they do warrant additional investigation. In each...
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09
Sep

DEP Asks EHB Judge to Certify Appeal in Erie Coke Supersedeas Case

On Aug. 28, Environmental Hearing Board Judge Steven C. Beckman issued an order allowing Erie Coke Corp. to continue operating while it appeals the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s denial of its application to renew its Title V Operating Permit. This week, DEP took the somewhat unusual step of asking Beckman to certify that his ruling is appealable. On Monday, attorneys for DEP filed a Motion to Amend Interlocutory Order Granting Petition for Supersedeas “to provide that the order involves controlling questions of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal...
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29
Aug

Erie Coke hit with $200,000 wastewater penalty

It’s the company’s second consent order reached with the city of Erie since May. The same day that negotiations between Erie Coke Corp. and state regulators fell apart last week, the company reached an agreement with the city of Erie to pay a $200,000 penalty for mishandling wastewater as recently as June. The consent order is the second the city has reached with Erie Coke over wastewater treatment at the coke plant since May. The violations listed in the new consent order occurred between December and June. Erie Coke must pay the city a total of $191,077, according to the...
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14
Aug

Holding Our Breath

At this writing, Environmental Hearing Board Judge Steven C. Beckman is weighing Erie Coke’s case against being shut down, despite numerous violations of its Title V operating permit — even three more during the July hearing. On Monday, Aug. 12, Beckman filed an order “denying Erie Coke’s petition to reopen the record to include additional evidence in the case that the company did not bring up at the hearing,” according to Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP). “The order also grants the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) request to strike references to that evidence in Erie Coke’s post-hearing brief.” Meanwhile, DEP attorneys have...
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09
Aug

DEP & Erie Coke Submit Final Arguments in Environmental Hearing Board Case, Clash on Details

Whether or not Erie Coke Corp. will be permitted to operate while it appeals the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) denial of its Title V permit is now in the hands of an Environmental Hearing Board judge. Attorneys for both the DEP and Erie Coke Corp. on Wednesday submitted their post-hearing briefs for consideration by presiding Judge Steven C. Beckman following six days of testimony. In their final arguments to the EHB, attorneys for Erie Coke largely reiterated claims previously presented: That if the Board does not grant supersedeas allowing it to continue operations pending the appeal, it would...
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