EPA approves Suncoke plant, residents unhappy

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) -  After years of being delayed the Ohio EPA has finally given the go ahead for Suncoke's Energy Plant in Middletown.

Lisa Frye says the proposed Suncoke plant would be almost with in a mile of her back lot, so when she heard the EPA approved their permit, it's safe to say she's worried.

"Obviously we're disappointed, because no matter how you cut it, it's not appropriate to put a coke plant in the middle of a school nursing home and residential area," Frye said.
Her and several other neighbors have been fighting against the plant for nearly two years, going to meetings, hearings and drafting petitions,warning residents about the health hazards they say could be lurking just yards away from where their families live.
"I have four children, there's lots of children in the neighborhood, so it's a concern for all of our families," Frye said.
"It's a big step forward for Butler County and it's long overdue to see this permit issued," said Butler County Commissioner Donald Dixon.
Dixon says the plant would provide coke for AK Steel and bring 500 local jobs, and the community shouldn't be concerned.
"This one of the most strict permits that have been released to build to go to construction, everyone wants to see this be an environmentally friendly safe facility," Dixon said.
But residents who live nearby the plant say just because the permit was granted, doesn't mean they're done, their fight is far from over.
"As long as SunCoke is a part of our life in any way shape or form, we will be involved," Frye said.
Neighbors against the plant have even formed a non-profit group called SunCoke Watch.

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