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American Lung Association Releases List of the Nation's Most Polluted Cities - Middletown makes the Top 10 list AGAIN!

The American Lung Association released its annual report on air quality, State of the Air 2011, which includes a list of the nation’s most polluted metropolitan areas.

Go to www.stateoftheair.org to review the data.

Rankings for Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.
• Ranked 16 for high ozone days out of 277 metropolitan areas
• Ranked 43 for 24-hour particle pollution out of 277 metropolitan areas
• Ranked 9 for annual particle pollution out of 277 metropolitan areas

SunCoke Watch, Inc. and the City of Monroe Win a Ruling from Franklin County Court of Appeals against SunCoke

Attached is the Franklin County Court of Appeals ruling issued on April 7, 2011. Both SunCoke Watch, Inc. and the City of Monroe independent of each other filed appeals in the Court of Appeals in response to ERAC's decision to dismiss their appeals on the first netting permit issued to SunCoke.

ERAC had dismissed those appeals on the first netting permit when the NSR permit was issued and was unwilling to state that the permit was permanently void and unable to be revived. They also were unwilling to state that the right to appeal the first netting permit would still exist if SunCoke wanted to use the first netting permit if for some reason they no longer could utilize the NSR permit. Due to these legal holes still existing, the need to appeal was necessary.

The court clearly stated that should that circumstance arise, that the right to appeal would still exist.


SunCoke Watch and City of Monroe file Appeals in Franklin County Court of Appeals following ERAC's Denial of the City of Monroe's Motion for Clarification

Attached are four documents for your review: Monroe's Motion for Clarification, SunCoke, AK Steel and the OEPA’s Joint Response to Monroe’s Motion for Clarification, SunCoke Watch, Inc.’s memo of support and Monroe’s subsequent response.

To summarize, Monroe asked the Environmental Appeals Commission to state that the netting permit (1st permit) is truly moot and would be unable to be resurrected if/when the New Source Review permit is overturned. The Commission stated it was void, but didn’t speak to what would happen in that instance.

ERAC has denied the City of Monroe's clarification request, which has resulted in SunCoke Watch and the City of Monroe filing separate appeals with the Franklin County Court of Appeals. Appealing to the court was necessary in order to ensure that justice is served and that our ability to challenge the first netting permit still exists if our opponents ever attempted to fall back on that permit with a defeat of the NSR permit in court. As it stands now, our appeals have been dismissed, but ERAC has been unwilling to state that the first netting permit is permanently void/moot regardless of what happens with the NSR permit. Initially we were encouraged by ERAC’s willingness to define supersede as void, but after further legal evaluation the definition wasn’t taken far enough for our legal comfort.

If our opponents would ever choose to resurrect the first netting permit and our appeals were not in existence for our “day in court,” then SunCoke could potentially be allowed to construct and function under that first permit without any legal challenge in a court of law due to ERAC's decision rendered without addressing what would happen in this instance.

The attachments are self explanatory.

I went back and found this quote from SunCoke:

NRDC Files Comments with Ohio EPA on DEGS (formerly P&G) Permit Modification regarding Emission Offsets for SunCoke

Comments have been submitted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council and SunCoke Watch, Inc. regarding the Ohio EPA's draft administrative modification of the permit-to-install for DEGS Facility, which was originally permitted and built by Procter and Gamble.

The Ohio EPA is attempting nine years after this permit was issued in 2001 to "correct the amount of remaining emissions available to be used as emissions credits." It's obvious the only reason that the Ohio EPA is taking this administrative action nine years later is to assist SunCoke in locating available ERC's (Emission Reduction Credits) for their New Source Review permit on the border of Middletown and Monroe.

The comments are attached and clearly summarize the legal issues at hand. Also attached is the draft permit modification.

SunCoke Watch, Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council File a Joint Notice of Appeal with the Environmental Review Appeals Commission on March 10, 2010

SunCoke Watch, Inc. and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a joint Notice of Appeal on March 10, 2010 with the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC) on the Director's issuance on February 9, 2010 of a Final Air Pollution Permit to Install ("PTI") to the Middletown Coke Company.

ANOTHER Notice of Violation issued to SunCoke on 2/17/10

Yet another violation issued to the Haverhill North Coke Company on February 17th, 2010 by the USEPA!

Please note page 7 of the PDF, which identifies SO2 violations of 232% over the permit limit, PM violations of 644% over the permit limit, and "excess bypass venting" that "collectively constitutes 116 rolling months of failure to comply with operational standards" since Jan. 1, 2009.

SunCoke's compliance certification letter is dated August 28, 2009 (see attachment). This 2/17/10 NOV clearly shows on page 7 of the PDF that SunCoke was NOT in compliance in the month of August - or any month last year for that matter!

SunCoke’s negligent environmental actions once again documented.


Monroe, Ohio, February 23, 2010

Citing significant legal and technical flaws in Middletown Coke Company's recently-issued New Source Review air pollution permit, Monroe City Council has directed its lawyers to appeal the permit to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission. Council's approval came at its regularly-scheduled meeting this evening.

According to the resolution approved by Council, Monroe "remains committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of itself and its citizens and will pursue actions necessary to insure that all federal and state laws and regulations are met" with regard to the coke plant.

The new permit fails to hold Middletown Coke to more stringent emission standards and pollution controls that apply to similar coke plants throughout the U.S., including Middletown Coke's own sister facility in Haverhill, Ohio. Applying those more stringent requirements to the Middletown Coke plant would further reduce the
emission of harmful pollutants by as much as 300 tons/year. "By
law, Middletown Coke must comply with the lowest achievable emission rates in the country," explained Christopher Walker, an environmental attorney representing Monroe. "You can't say this will be the cleanest coke plant in America when even SunCoke's other facilities are subject to greater control requirements."

Monroe Mayor Robert Routson added, "As a result of the efforts of Monroe and others, Middletown Coke is now subject to a New Source Review permit that reduces emissions from the coke plant by over 500 tons/year. That's a nearly 20% reduction from the emission levels in the original permit. However, we expect Ohio EPA to control emissions from the coke plant to the fullest extent required by the law. It is not acceptable to risk the health of 12,000 Monroe citizens for the sake of 75 permanent jobs."

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