Ohio EPA News Release, Aug. 14, 2008

FOR RELEASE: August 14, 2008
CONTACT: Heather Lauer, (614) 644-2160

Ohio EPA Offers Guidelines for Testifying at the Middletown Coke Hearing

     Ohio EPA will hold a public information session and hearing at 6:20 pm on Aug.. 21, 2008, at the Dave Finkelman Auditorium of the Middletown Campus, Miami University.  4200 E. University Blvd. to receive comments about a draft air permit for a proposed new heat recovery coke-making facility.

  The proposed facility would be located adjacent to AK Steel Corporation's Middletown Woks in Middletown.  The permit application was submitted by Middletown Coke Company.


      Ohio EPA expects a substantial turnout for the hearing.  In order to ensure that people's comments can have the most impact, Ohio EPA offers the following guidelines: 

  • Ohio EPA is required to consider comments about how the proposed air pollution controls will be protective of people's health and the environment; whether all air pollution rules and regulation will be met' whether appropriate air pollution controls are required to be installed; and whether all sources of pollution have been adequately identified, characterized and covered in the draft permit; 
  • Some public concerns fall outside the scope of Ohio EPA's authority, such as: zoning issues, increased truck traffic, noise, union wage job possibilities, economic development, property values or popularity of a proposed project;
  • In order to allow everyone who wishes to testify an opportunity to speak at the hearing, speakers may be limited to between 3 to 5 minutes;
  • Written comments are given equal weight as oral testimony.  Comments will be accepted in writing until 5 pm, the close of business August 28, 2008; and
  • Written testimony should be mailed of faxed to:
Mike Ploetz
Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services
250 William Howard Taft Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45219
fax: 513-946-7778

     In addition to this draft air permit, if the project goes forward, the company may also need to apply for an industrial storm water permit, depending on whether storm water captured from the site is recycled back into the coke as make up water or discharged.

     If both permits are approved and the facility is built, it will need to apply for a permit modification that would limit the amount of mercury it is allowed to discharge and, within its first year of operation, it must apply for a Title V air permit to operate.  The Title V permit would confirm the amount of mercury that the facility would be allowed to emit.

     Title V of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments require states to develop a program for processing and issuing comprehensive facility-wide air pollution control permits.  Title V permits include all air pollution requirements for a facility in a single document.  A facility mus obtain a Title V permit if:

  • it has the potential to emit more then 100 tons a year of Sulfur Dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, lead; or
  • the facility has the potential to emit more the 10 tons a year of any one hazardous air pollutant; or
  • it has the potential to emit more the 25 tons a year of any combination of hazardous air pollutants.