Members of Erie County Council said by deciding to shut down, Erie Coke is not demonstrating the corporate responsibility the county expects from its employers, according to a statement issued Friday.

Council said it is concerned about the 137 workers who are now out of the job, and the company is directly responsible for the job losses, not the local government.

Read the full statement

Erie Coke Plant Operators Have Once Again Failed to Own up, Live Up or Stand Up

The decision by Erie Coke to close its doors does not demonstrate the kind of corporate responsibility Erie Countians expect from employers in our region. Municipal governments throughout Erie County have been more than patient in waiting for Erie Coke to comply with basic environmental regulations over the past 22 years.

Erie County Council is greatly concerned for the 137 workers who are now out of a job. While some might be tempted to blame municipal governments for this closure, the responsibility is with Erie Coke. Erie County government and all other municipal governments are charged with protecting the health and welfare of our citizens. Demanding the Erie Coke put the health of Erie County citizens before its own profits is not unreasonable, it is moral.

Councilman Andre Horton: “Working men and women in Erie County, and especially in my district, should not have to choose between their health and a paycheck. This should serve a catalyst for polluters to clean up their act”.

County Councilman Carl Anderson, III: “Not only does this put 137 Erie County citizens out of a job, but draws attention to the level of greed the owners of this business show our community, especially this time of year. The Coke company owners, instead of taking action and correcting a problem, have chosen to run from it, leaving a wreckage of waste, and hard-working dedicated employees behind.”

This is a shocking decision by the company, especially in light of the compromise reached with the City of Erie regarding the transportation of chemically tainted water. County Council is very hopeful that discussions with the City of Erie and officials from around the area could result in employment opportunities for the effected workers. We fully expect the company will safely shut down its operations to the letter of the law, and not leave our community with further financial loss and environmental risks.

Members of Erie County Council