A hearing will continue to determine if Erie Coke can remain open after numerous air pollution violations.   The hearing came about after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), on July 1, denied Erie Coke's renewal of its operating permit.

This was the fourth day of testimony.  This morning’s proceedings began with Erie Coke’s attorneys calling their final witness.   That witness was Ed Nesselbeck, Erie Coke's Environmental Director. He testified that the company has been making a tremendous amount of progress in reaching environmental compliance since he was hired last February.

He said Erie Coke has been in smokestack opacity compliance 99% of the time in April, May, and June of this year.

This afternoon, the DEP called its witnesses to the stand including its air quality specialist Dan Brophy.   Brophy testified about his inspections of the plant during one day in May and three days in June.
    He told of seeing fugitive emissions during each of those inspections that exceeded environmental guidelines.


The hearing by the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board will continue tomorrow morning.  The judge is hoping the case will wrap up by early afternoon. He indicated earlier that it's unlikely he will make an immediate ruling.