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Thursday, April 30, 2009 3:02:02 PM - Monroe Ohio

Vice Mayor Steve Tannreuther and Mayor Bob Routson

For Immediate Release
Monroe, Ohio, April 30, 2009


City of Monroe officials were unmoved by the arguments presented at Thursday’s rally in favor of the proposed coke plant adjacent to AK Steel.

Monroe officials took issue with claims that its lawsuit was based on “unfounded environmental concerns.” “The City of Monroe has a right and an obligation to protect the health of its citizens,” added Monroe Mayor Robert Routson. “The air in Butler County already doesn’t meet the national air quality standards. Under its existing permit, the coke plant would release over 2,000 tons per year of pollutants that cause particulate matter in the air. That’s like dumping an extra 20 rail cars of coal dust into our air each year.”

Christopher Walker, an environmental attorney representing Monroe, added, “The coke plant is a major source of air pollution. It is required by law to have a New Source Review permit from EPA. Monroe sued SunCoke because it doesn’t have one. Eight weeks later, SunCoke applied for the permit. So it seems to us that Monroe’s lawsuit is well-founded and justified.”

On April 6, 2009, SunCoke filed a new application with Ohio EPA requesting a complex air pollution control permit known as a “New Source Review” permit. According to a steel trade publication, Ohio EPA officials are unsure how long the application review process will take. According to an EPA spokesperson, “It’s going to be awhile. It’s a very difficult air permit to get and not one we typically issue.”

According to the same publication, AK Steel President and CEO James Wainscott has
stated that the coke plant project has been delayed by economic concerns as well as the opposition from Monroe. “If the project is being delayed by economic concerns, Monroe should not be blamed for those delays,” reasoned Mayor Routson. “And it doesn’t help when the blame is coming from a public relations firm that doesn’t identify its clients.”

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