Feds, State Sue Erie Coke Over Clean Air Act Violations

Merchant coke producer faces fines for excess emissions, maintenance issues

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection are suing foundry-coke producer Erie Coke Corp., alleging that visible air emissions at the plant’s coke ovens exceed legal limits and that the ovens are not properly maintained and operated.

The suit follows inspections of the plant’s coke batteries by both agencies. Also, Erie Coke is accused of not conducting required annual emissions testing on one boiler since 1999, and a second boiler since 2003.

According to an EPA news release, the company could face fines up to $32,500 per day for each violation occurring since March 15, 2004, and $37,500 per day for each violation after January 12, 2009.

Erie Coke is an ISO 9001-registered producer of foundry coke. It operates two coke batteries with total of 58 ovens, both of which were installed more than 50 years ago.

The two agencies aim to force Erie Coke to acquire the necessary environmental permits and adopt the control technologies needed to operate the batteries within the guidelines of the Clean Air Act, including provisions of the Pennsylvania state implementation plan.

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