Question: Is Middletown Coke legally able to construct?
Answer: Yes. Although SunCoke Watch disagrees with the OEPA's issuance of the netting permit in November 2008, Middletown Coke does have a valid permit-to-install. Although the City of Monroe has filed a federal lawsuit against Middletown Coke, no court has issued a stay or injunction order to date.
Question: Do the two separate Notice and Findings of violation issued by the USEPA to SunCoke's Haverhill facility have any impact on the current New Source Review permitting process with Middletown Coke.
Answer: Yes. OAC Rule 3745-31-22(A)(2) states “The applicant must certify that all existing stationary sources owned or operated by the applicant (or any entity controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the applicant) in Ohio as the proposed major stationary source or major modification are in compliance with all applicable emission limitations and standards under the Clean Air Act (or are in compliance with an expeditious schedule which is federally enforceable or contained in a court decree.)
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.
USA Today has an ongoing investigative story entitled The Smokestack Effect. On December 30, 2008, SunCoke Watch was on the front page of the issue with a story on Amanda Elementary and the concerns of locating the proposed SunCoke coke plant, which would emit approximately 2,700 tons of pollution in the air adjacent to the school.
Alexander J. Sagady & Associates
657 Spartan Avenue, East Lansing, MI 48823-3624
VIA EMAILED PDF FILE
August 19, 2008
Ms. Cheryl Newton, Director -Acting
Air and Radiation Division
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region V
RE: Middletown [OH] Coke Company & Ohio EPA Division of Air Pollution Control -
Violation of Netting Requirements for a Draft Air Permit and Impermissible Minor
Source Permitting of a Major Stationary Source
Dear Ms. Newton:
We are writing on behalf of the Sierra Club of Ohio concerning the proposed Middletown Coke
Company Draft Air Permit to Install that has been published by the Ohio EPA. The public
comment period on the application and draft permit are presently running.
This communication is intended as an air pollution complaint against Middletown Coke Company
and the State of Ohio. The complaint is that those respondents have either applied for or plan to
approve a plainly impermissible and unlawful minor modification air permit to install for
Middletown Coke Company. In reality, what is planned here is the impermissible construction of a
major stationary source of emissions without the required major modification/source permit
covering both prevention of significant deterioration and nonattainment NSR program requirements.
Middletown Coke Company proposes 100 heat recovery coke ovens arranged in 3 batteries, along
with quenching, materials handling and other related operations at a site in Middletown, OH near
AK Steel. The Applicant is seeking a permit to install on the basis of the Applicant’s claim that the
proposed coke oven batteries would be a minor modification, net-out source.
Middletown City Council has approved with a vote of 6-0 both new zoning setbacks (so that the plant will not have to use the 600 ft. setback) and the rezoning of the Martin Farm from low-density residential to Industrial.
See the video of the meeting here:
FOR RELEASE: August 14, 2008
CONTACT: Heather Lauer, (614) 644-2160
Ohio EPA Offers Guidelines for Testifying at the Middletown Coke Hearing
By Ed Richter Middletown Journal - Staff Writer Saturday, August 09, 2008 MIDDLETOWN — Although the "Stay Inside the Fence" committee is being disbanded now that Garden Manor Extended Care Center has dropped its support and lawsuit against the city of Middletown and SunCoke Energy Inc., a group of Monroe residents who live adjacent to the proposed $340 million cokemaking and electric generation plant continue to oppose the project. Nearly 40 residents attended a meeting at the Monroe Firehouse on Ohio 4 on Thursday, Aug. 7, to meet with Sierra Club representatives to discuss their options during the permit process with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Miami University Middletown. READ MORE http://www.middletownjournal.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/08/0...
On behalf of the Stay Inside the Fence.com Committee, I want to thank all of the Middletown residents who signed our referendum petition, which was filed on June 5, 2008, and the most recent initiative petition drive, which began on July 8. More than 3,700 signatures were obtained in a span of only a few weeks for the two petition efforts.
PUBLIC NOTICE PUBLIC HEARING
Issuance Of Draft Air Pollution Permit-To-Install Middletown Coke
Company Issue Date: 7/18/2008
Permit Number: 14-06023
Permit Type: Initial installation
Permit Description: Heat Recovery Coke Plant - 100 Ovens.
Facility ID: 1409011031
Facility Location: Middletown Coke Company
7014 Hamilton Middletown Road,
Middletown, OH 45044
Facility Description: Iron and Steel Mills
By Ed Richter Middletown Journal Staff Writer Wednesday, July 09, 2008 MIDDLETOWN — Notice was given late Tuesday afternoon to the city of Middletown that an initiative petition will be filed to amend the city charter to require a 2,000-foot setback between any coke-rendering related facility and any existing homes, schools, churches, nursing homes and health-care facilities.