Members of a citizens group are worried that emissions from the Erie Coke plant are harmful.   They want the public to join them in speaking out against the company.

The group believes there's no better time to take a stand against the plant.  Erie Coke's operating permit has expired and the plant is applying for a new permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.(DEP)

Dr. Mike Campbell is a member if the citizens group. He says the group wants more people involved. It set up a web site to inform the public about Erie Coke and the permit process.

The web site is called The site lists the pollution citations filed against Erie Coke over the past several years. It makes clear that Erie Coke has the same owner as a coke plant in Tonawanda, NY that has been ordered to shut down.  The plant is currently appealing that order. Campbell says his group wants Erie Coke to operate within the terms of its new permit, or to not get a new permit at all.

"We see this as the golden moment that we can weigh-in and maybe try to finally get something done to stop the pollution,” he said.

The DEP will hold a public hearing on Erie Coke's permit application by the end of this year.  Citizens will get an opportunity to outline any health problems that could be tied to the plant.

The citizens group is a panel of environmentalists and community leaders brought together by the DEP to give input about concerns surrounding the plant.