Status of Coke Plant Lawsuits and New Permit Public Hearing

During September there have been several new developments related to the proposed SunCoke facility in Middletown, Ohio. Several groups have invested a great amount of time and money opposing the proposed SunCoke facility. These groups are: the City of Monroe, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and SunCoke Watch.

A few weeks after Monroe filed a federal lawsuit under the Clean Air Act, SunCoke filed an application with the EPA for a more stringent New Source Review (NSR) permit to replace the minor source permit that was in dispute. On September 2nd, the Ohio EPA held a public hearing at Miami University-Middletown. Many area residents were in attendance asking serious questions about theNSR Permit. Read more »

SunCoke’s New Source Review EPA Public Hearing September 2nd

The Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing at Miami University in Middletown on the New Source Review (NSR) Draft Permit recently issued by the EPA. The meeting will be held in Johnston Hall RM 142 on September 2nd at 6:30 p.m. The Ohio EPA will take questions and hear public testimony in regards the proposed SunCoke facility to be constructed on Yankee Road in Middletown, Ohio. Representatives from the City of Monroe and SunCoke will be attending the meeting to ask questions and submit comments in regards to the NSR draft permit. 

Recently, the Clean Air Act lawsuit filed by the City of Monroe was dismissed by the federal district court. The court did not rule on the merits of the case, but held that the ERAC appeal must go forward first. On the same day, the ERAC hearing scheduled for February was canceled because of changes to the law in regards to a new deadline structure brought about by the 2009 state budget. Cases may be heard in early 2010, but parties will only have an hour to present their cases to the ERAC commission. The details of how the ERAC process will work will be decided before the end of the year.  Read more »

SunCoke Wants New Source Permit by September 2009

submitted by Steven Urso

On June 18 SunCoke Energy announced they would like a New Source Review permit issued for construction by September 1, 2009.  SunCoke has obtained emission credits for the new proposed SunCoke facility on Yankee Road.  There is a question as to whether SunCoke is eligible for the New Source Permit since one of the requirements for the new permit is that they need their other facilities to be environmentally compliant.  SunCoke was issued a notice of violation in April of 2009 at their Haverhill, Ohio facility.  SunCoke has not submitted a complete application to Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services and SunCoke has failed to provide any information on their offsets for the SunCoke facility in Middletown, Ohio.   Read more »

SunCoke to Seek New EPA Permit

by Steven Urso

On March 13th it was announced that the SunCoke Company would be applying for a new permit for a SunCoke facility to be built on the Martin/Bake Farm in Middletown, Ohio. The proposed facility will abut the City of Monroe and many Monroe residents. 

The City of Monroe opposes the SunCoke facility due to health concerns for its citizens and the negative economic impact that the proposed coke plant will have on Monroe. The City of Monroe filed an appeal with the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC) this past February, and a citizen's action lawsuit has been filed in federal court. The federal suit claims that SunCoke is violating the Federal Clean Air Act. 

SunCoke Watch, a local grass roots organization, filed an appeal with ERAC in February. SunCoke has also received pressure from environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  Read more »

Appeals Filed by City and SunCoke Watch

On November 25th 2008 the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued a permit to allow the construction of the Sun Coke processing facility in Middletown, Ohio. The permit was issued with a stipulation that Sun Coke not begin construction until a concurring decision comes from the Federal EPA. The Federal EPA has not issued a decision in regard to this permit.  Read more »

Council's Response to SunCoke Plant

The City of Monroe has expressed serious concerns about a proposal to construct a 100-oven coke plant complex that will be located little more than 1,000 feet from a residential community in Monroe. The coke plant is to be constructed by Middletown Coke Co., a subsidiary of SunCoke Energy Inc., and will provide steel-making coke to AK Steel.

Recently, the Chamber of Commerce and the Butler County Building and Trades Council asked publicly that the City of Monroe explain the basis for its opposition to the coke plant. This letter is in response to those public requests. Read more »