Environmentalists took the stage Tuesday, April 16, 2019 to shed light on the Erie Coke Plant’s current Department of Environmental Protection violations.

About two weeks ago, the DEP was on the site of the Erie Coke Pant following a chemical spill.

“And we know that recently, back in February, the DEP had an order against Erie Coke for a number of violations for leaking doors and lids, for not running their hydrogen sulfate absorber all of the time,” said Rachel Filippini, member of GASP.

Filippini is with the organization Groups Against Smog and Pollution which is based out of Allegheny County.

She says based on these violations, Erie Coke does have a negative impact on the area’s air quality and that can be very harmful to certain groups.

“Of course, young children whose bodies, brains, lungs are still developing. The elderly who may have underlying health conditions are certainly more susceptible to air pollution,” said Filippini.

The members of the group “Hold Erie Coke Accountable” say they held this meeting to help citizens understand how they can play a role in the operating permit process for Erie Coke. 

“Every five years that permit (Title V) has to be renewed and before the permit is renewed, there is always a public hearing. This is the time when citizens can say how happy or unhappy they have been with the performance of Erie Coke,” said Sister Pat Lupo, Hold Erie Coke Accountable.

Sister Lupo says the Title V public hearing could happen in the next six to eight months. H.E.C.A members say they will have another meeting like this one to prepare for the hearing.