Findings and Orders for Violations of Ohio EPA's Air Pollution Control Laws and Regulations at AK Steel Corporation's Middletown Works
On Sept. 29, 2011, AK Steel Corporation, Middletown Works, was issued another NOV from USEPA Region 5 for violating the Clean Air Act regarding the National Emission of Hazardous Air Pollutants for Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching and Battery Stacks ("Coke Oven MACT") and the Title V permit program implemented under the terms of the Act.
The NOV states "During a Section 113 conference held on September 1, 2011, AK Steel confirmed that the Method 9 visible emission observations performed by its Certified Method 9 Observers were not conducted in accordance with the opacity-reading methodology for fugitive pushing operations, as prescribed by the Coke Oven MACT."
Attached is the Notice of Violation for review.
AK was just issued one of the attached Notices of Violation on August 3, 2011. Contained in the document are the following statements:
"From March, 2011 through June 1, 2011, AK Steel reported 1,556 exceedances of the twenty percent opacity limit, as a six-minute average, exiting the combustion stack at the Wilputte Battery."
"AK submitted records of Method 9 visible emissions observations conducted at the Wilputte Battery pushing operations for the period between August, 2006 and February 2, 2011. The records showed 2,390 exceedances of the twenty percent opacity limit for pushing operations read above the battery top."
AK Steel Corp. announced today, Dec. 28 it is permanently closing its Ashland, Ky., coke plant next year. The West Chester Twp.-based steel maker currently has 263 hourly and salaried employees at the coke plant, which produced the blast furnace fuel for AK’s iron and steel making facility in Ashland, according to AK. It is being closed because the coke facility is no longer cost competitive due to increased maintenance costs and environmental regulations, officials said.
News of the coke plant’s imminent shutdown didn’t come as a total shock. A Nov. 1 filing by AK Steel with the Securities & Exchange Commission listed the plant’s closing as a possibility due to the cost of complying with the environmental regulations.
The report stated the Environmental Protection Agency and the company haven’t reached a final agreement about how to deal with notices of violation of EPA regulations on July 23, 2007, and Dec. 9, 2008.
Bringing the plant into compliance with the EPA would require extensive improvements, which would cost the company approximately $50 million over several years, the filing stated.
The EPA’s website lists the coke plant’s violation of the Clean Air Act as a high priority violation and states that the plant has been in non-compliance with the act for the past 12 business quarters, or about three years.
Another signal that the Ashland plant was on borrowed time came in September of last year, when AK Steel signed an agreement to purchase coke from SunCoke Energy’s Haverhill North Coke Company plant in Franklin Furnace for at least 12 years. The agreement calls for the Ohio facility to furnish AK Steel up to 550,000 tons of metallurgical coke a year.
MIDDLETOWN — Retired AK Steel worker Bill Daley was an avid golfer and marathon runner.
But a grade 4 malignant brain tumor, discovered in January 2008, caused him to lose his peripheral vision in both eyes. He suffered seizures, brain fog, slipped into a coma for about 10 days, and slowly lost his mobility. He died Feb. 9, 2009.
Daley’s children — son, Eric, 39, of Liberty Twp. and daughter, Michelle Daley Walton, 37, now of California — struggled to make sense of what had caused this in a seemingly healthy man.
“There has to be something in the water. Something in the air,’’ they feared.
Five years earlier, one of Daley’s best friends, Greg Lansaw, died of glioblastoma brain cancer, the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer.
Then Daly’s family learned that a friend, Jeff Jewell, formerly of Middletown, was in the hospital. The diagnosis: a grade 4 glioma.
“When Jeff got diagnosed I thought there has to be something about Middletown,’’ Eric Daley said.
So did his sister, a pharmaceutical saleswoman.
Walton asked everyone on her cell, email and Facebook contact lists to send information about anyone in Middletown affected by cancer.
The response was astounding. Walton discovered 11 people in Middletown were diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer since 2004.
AK Steel Corp. has agreed to purchase metallurgical coke from SunCoke Energy's Haverhill facility for at least 12 years. Under the agreement, SunCoke's Haverhill North Coke Company plant in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, will provide AK Steel with up to 550,000 tons of coke annually - a key steelmaking raw material.
Separating Spin from Reality
SunCoke, a subsidiary of Sunoco, and AK Steel propose to build a 100 oven coke making plant on the border of Monroe would have you believe that there will be no harmful effect to our community. The well-funded supporters of the project ask you to focus on the jobs they claim will result and they throw around terms like “green” and “environmentally friendly.”
Breaking News: The Ohio EPA is now attempting to re-write rules that are protective of human health to make it easier for these two Fortune 500 Companies to make the air in Butler County more hazardous.
Here are some of the most common arguments supporters make and the REALITY:
Supporters say the project has been approved by the EPA – It is true the EPA has issued a permit, which we believe is flawed. More importantly, the supporters want you to assume the EPA considers all aspects of a proposed project including its location. The Truth Is – The Law Prevents the EPA from Considering the Location of the Plant – The EPA is not allowed to weigh the impact this plant would have on the children attending Amanda Elementary School, the frail residents of Garden Manor Retirement Village or the families residing in surrounding neighborhoods.
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SunCoke Watch Inc was in attendance at AK Steel Shareholder Meeting on Thursday, May 28th in Chicago
The AK Steel Stockholder meeting was held on Thursday, May 28th in Chicago at the Ritz-Carlton and SunCoke Watch Inc was in attendance.
You can listen to the meeting, which was about ½ hour long at www.aksteel.com. On the Home Page, is a tab to click on for the meeting. At the end of the meeting, was a question and answer session in which an opportunity was given to ask questions. Please take a few minutes of your time and listen to the dialogue for informational purposes.
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.