City to Erie Coke: Fix wastewater violations by December

A new cease-and-desist order follows two civil penalties levied against Erie Coke earlier this year. The city of Erie has issued an ultimatum to Erie Coke Corp.: come into compliance with wastewater treatment rules or start shipping the coke plant’s wastewater elsewhere. Erie Coke has until Dec. 15 to become compliant, according to a cease-and-desist order the city issued on Friday. If the deadline isn’t met, Erie Coke will be forced to stop discharging wastewater from the plant, which sits at the foot of East Avenue, into the city’s sanitary system. Erie Coke is dealing with this latest reprimand as...
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An Erie biology professor felt like he couldn’t control what’s happening in Washington. Then he led a campaign against a polluting coke plant in his community

Some of the wildflowers in the overgrown field reach Mike Campbell’s head. He walked through them one recent day, pointing out where to watch for railroad tracks, as he got closer to Erie Coke. It’s an industrial plant on the shore of one of the Great Lakes where workers turn coal into a key ingredient for steel manufacturing. The operation has a long history of environmental violations, and it survived a shut-down attempt by state regulators almost a decade ago. It’s now being targeted again — in part thanks to Campbell and a group he helped start. When Campbell reached...
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UPDATED: EHB Denies DEP Request to Certify Appeal in Erie Coke Case, Says it’s “Not Worthwhile;” 3 New NOVs Issued

By way of an Opinion and Order issued Thursday, the Environmental Hearing Board essentially ended the Department of Environmental Protection’s bid to appeal the Board’s Aug. 28 granting of supersedeas to Erie Coke. The supersedeas decision allowed Erie Coke to continue operations at its facility – subject to certain restrictions – pending the outcome of its appeal of DEP’s denial of the company’s air quality operating permit renewal application. The decision issued yesterday all but assures that Erie Coke’s fate now hangs on the outcome of the February 2020 hearings in the appeal case. Specifically, the Environmental Hearing Board denied...
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More problem air samples around Erie Coke

A second set of air monitoring samples from around the Erie Coke plant are once again showing a problem. The State Department of Environmental Resources has 13 passive air monitors set-up around the coke plant property on the East Erie Bayfront. They are monitoring benzene levels, which can be hazardous to human health. Four of the 13 monitors in the most recent testing show readings higher than 1.3 micrograms per cubic meter. The DEP says anything higher than 1.3 means further evaluation and analysis is needed. This is the second round of samples that have indicated an elevated level of...
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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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