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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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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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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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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DEP Issues Three More Notice of Violation Letters to Erie Coke Corp.

The Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday posted three Notice of Violation letters it issued to Erie Coke Corp. The letters are dated July 25, and address violations of air quality regulations that occurred on July 8, July 9, and July 12. According to the letters: Visible fugitive air contaminants of greater than 20 percent opacity were observed escaping from the coke-side shed. DEP noted that the violation was made during an inspection July 8. Then on July 9, DEP inspectors observed fugitive particulate matter emissions visible outside Erie Coke’s property. On July 12, visible fugitive air contaminants greater than...
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