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MONROE COUNCIL AUTHORIZES APPEAL OF NEW SUNCOKE PLANT PERMIT
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:51:25 PM - Monroe Ohio


Video: Council Votes on Appeal of Coke Plant Permit

Source: Monroe Council Press Release

Citing significant legal and technical f1aws in Middletown Coke Company's recently-
issued New Source Review air pollution permit, Monroe City Council has directed its
lawyers to appeal the permit to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission.
Council's approval came at its regularly-scheduled meeting this evening.
According to the resolution approved by Council, Monroe "remains committed to
protecting the health, safety, and welfare of itself and its citizens and will pursue actions
necessary to insure that all federal and state laws and regulations are met" with regard to
the coke plant.

The new permit fails to hold Middletown Coke to more stringent emission standards _and
pollution controls that apply to similar coke plants throughout the U.S- including
Middletown Coke's own sister facility in Haverhill, Ohio. Applying those more stringent
requirements to the Middletown Coke plant would further reduce the emission of harmful
pollutants by as much as 300 tons/year. "By law, Middletown Coke must comply with
the lowest achievable emission rates in the country," explained Christopher Walker, an
environmental attorney representing Monroe. "You can't say this will be the cleanest
coke plant in America when even SunCoke's other facilities are subject to greater control
requirements."

Monroe Mayor Robert Routson added, "As a result of the efforts of Monroe and others,
Middletown Coke is now subject to a New Source Review permit that reduces emissions
from the coke plant by over 500 tons/year. That's a nearly 20% reduction from the
emission levels in the original permit. However, we expect Ohio EPA to control
emissions from the coke plant to the fullest extent required by the law. It is not
acceptable to risk the health of 12,000 Monroe citizens for the sake of 75 permanent
jobs."

On February 9, Ohio EPA issued a final New Source Review air pollution permit for the
proposed Middletown Coke facility in Middletown. The new permit replaces a previous
air pollution permit issued to the coke plant in 2008.
The new permit authorizes the coke plant to emit nearly 2AOO tons of pollutants annually
into the air of Butler County, which does not meet federal air quality standards designed
 
to protect public health. For example, the new permit authorizes the emission of nearly
400 tons of particulate matter and over 1,000 tons of other pollutants that form fine
particles in the air. Butler County currently is not in compliance with the national air
quality standard for fine particulate matter. Breathing air containing particulate matter at
levels above the national ambient air standards increases the occurrence of cancer,
respiratory disease, and lung damage. The elderly, children, and people with chronic
lung disease tend to be especially sensitive to the effects of particulate matter.
Monroe's appeal will be tiled with the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals
Commission, which reviews regulatory actions of Ohio EP A. The deadline for appeal is
March 11. Monroe would not comment on the effect this appeal will have on
Middletown Coke's ability to begin construction of the plant, since that question is a
matter of confidential litigation strategy. At this time, Monroe has not determined what
effect this appeal will have on its appeal of the original coke plant permit.
Middletown Coke is a subsidiary of Sun Coke Energy, which currently operates coke
plants in Haverhill OH, East Chicago IL, Vansant VA, and in Brazil.
   
For further information please contact Christopher Walker of the Dayton office of Van
Kley & Walker at (937) 226-9000

 
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