Pennsylvania DEP to Conduct Air Quality Sampling Near Erie Coke Plant
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will conduct air quality sampling near the Erie Coke plant and throughout the community to assess health risks to the general population, it announced Monday.
The DEP said it will specifically be monitoring for compounds related to coke production like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene.
Thirteen monitors will be placed along the outside of the facility and at four locations in the community.
The air quality sampling comes in response to concerns raised by the members of a community stakeholder group formed by the DEP, as well as Erie Coke's recent air pollution violations, according to the DEP.
“Erie Coke has a long history of violations that DEP continues to address," said James Miller, DEP Northwest Regional Office Director, in a statement. "Based on the number of air quality violations, Erie Coke’s lack of intention or ability to address those violations, and the understandable concerns of the community regarding air quality, DEP is moving forward with this sampling plan. This facility will still have a presence in this community during the current legal proceedings and we must continue to take steps to address any environmental concerns stemming from Erie Coke.”
The DEP denied Erie Coke's application to renew its operating permit on July 1 and filed a injunction to have the plant shut down. The case is also currently under review by the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.