OEPA attempting to change state rules affecting Middletown Coke's permitting process

It appears that the promise of jobs and a company’s specific circumstances seem to be dictating rule and policy at the OEPA at the expense of our children, elderly and families – not just in our community, but in the entire state of Ohio!

The Ohio EPA is in the process of changing some of their existing state rules and the changes are listed on their website in draft form. The following are three that stand out: • In rule 3745-31-01, the OEPA is redefining the contemporaneous five year period for netting purposes. • In rule 3745-31-22, the OEPA wants to give the director the discretion to issue a permit even before a company submits their pollution offsets. Middletown Coke has submitted their application for the New Source Review permit, but not given information to the OEPA on their offsets. • In rule 3745-31-33, the OEPA is changing what site preparation activities are allowed before receiving a permit to install. The fact is that the only change to the rule involves the piping and culvert allegations that SunCoke Watch reported to the EPA last September. The specific issues that we reported regarding non-compliance are the very thing that is changed in the rule. The OEPA draft rules are on their website – the link is http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dapc/regs/regs.html. You can also get to it by going to http://www.epa.state.oh.us/, clicking on “air” at the top and then clicking on “rules and laws” on the left side. The section stating all of the draft rules, which apply to us, is 3745-31-01 through -33.