0001

 1        OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

 2              PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING

 3             AIR PERMIT TO INSTALL FOR

 4                     FDS COKING

 5  

 6                         - - -

 7  

 8           Transcript of the Public Hearing taken in

 9   the above-captioned matter, conducted by Hearing

10   Officer Mary McCarron, taken before Nicole D.

11   Blaker, Registered Merit Reporter and Notary

12   Public in and for the State of Ohio, at the Oregon

13   City Hall, Seaman Road, Oregon, Ohio, on Thursday,

14   May 13, 2004, commencing at 8:32 p.m.

15                       - - -    

16  

17  

18  

19  

20  

21  

22  

23  

24  

25  

0002

 1   OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

     Mary McCarron

 2   Public Interest Center

     P.O. Box 1049

 3   Columbus, Ohio  43216-1049  (614) 644-2160

 4                            - - -

 5        MS. MCCARRON:         The purpose of this public

 6        hearing is to accept comments on the official

 7        record regarding a permit to install four coke

 8        batteries at the proposed FDS Coking plant in

 9        Oregon, Lucas County.  If approved, the permit

10        would allow the installation of four coke

11        batteries consisting of 240 coke ovens that would

12        produce 1.44 million tons of coke.  The permit

13        would regulate the following pollutants:  Carbon

14        monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile

15        organic compounds, particulate matter, hazardous

16        air pollutants, and lead. 

17                Ohio EPA published a public notice to

18        announce the hearing and public comment period

19        regarding the expansion -- or the permit

20        application in newspapers in the area.  This

21        notice was issued in Ohio EPA's Weekly Review,

22        which is a publication that lists, by county, all

23        agency activities and actions taking place in the

24        State of Ohio. 

25                Written and oral comments received as part

0003

 1        of the official record are reviewed by Ohio EPA

 2        prior to a final action of the director.  To be

 3        included in the official record written comments

 4        must be received by Ohio EPA by the close of

 5        business on May 24th, 2004.  Comments received

 6        after this date may be considered as time and

 7        circumstances permit but will not be part of the

 8        official record for this hearing. 

 9                Written comments can be filed with me

10        tonight or submitted to Matt Stanfield, Toledo

11        Division of Environmental Services, 348 South Erie

12        Street, Toledo, Ohio, 43602, and this address can

13        be found on your agenda for this evening. 

14                It is important for you to know that all

15        comments received in writing at the agency, all

16        written comments given to me tonight, and all

17        verbal comments given here tonight are given the

18        same consideration.  I ask that all exhibits,

19        including written speeches, maps, photographs,

20        overheads, and any other physical evidence

21        referred to in your testimony be submitted to me

22        tonight as part of the official record.  If you

23        choose not to submit the information, Ohio EPA

24        cannot ensure the accuracy of your testimony.  A

25        court reporter is here to make a stenographic

0004

 1        record of tonight's proceedings. 

 2                Questions and comments made at the public

 3        hearing will be responded to in a document known

 4        as a responsiveness summary.  The director, after

 5        taking into consideration the recommendations of

 6        the program staff and comments presented by the

 7        public, may issue or deny the permit.  Once a

 8        final decision is made by the director, the final

 9        permit decision, along with the responsiveness

10        summary, will be communicated to the applicant,

11        all persons who have submitted comments, and all

12        persons who present testimony at tonight's

13        hearing. 

14                Final actions of the director are

15        appealable to the Environmental Review Appeals

16        Commission or ERAC.  This board is separate from

17        the Ohio EPA and reviews cases in accordance with

18        Ohio's environmental laws and rules.  Any ERAC

19        decision is appealable to the Franklin County

20        Court of Appeals.  Any Court of Appeals order is

21        appealable to the Supreme Court of Ohio. 

22                If you wish to present testimony at this

23        hearing tonight and have not already completed a

24        blue card, please do so at this time and return it

25        to me or another Ohio EPA representative, and the

0005

 1        cards are available at the registration table. 

 2                Each individual may testify only once, so

 3        I ask that you use your time wisely and that you

 4        are respectful of others providing their comments

 5        and questions.  There is no cross examination of

 6        the speaker or Ohio EPA representatives in public

 7        hearings of this type.  Ohio EPA's public hearings

 8        afford citizens an opportunity to provide input. 

 9        Therefore, we will not be able to answer questions

10        during this hearing.  The hearing officer or an

11        Ohio EPA representative may ask clarifying

12        questions of speakers to ensure the record is as

13        complete and accurate as possible.  If you have a

14        question, please phrase your comments in the form

15        of a question and the agency will address your

16        concerns in writing within the responsiveness

17        summary. 

18                Out of courtesy for elected officials here

19        tonight, I request that they make themselves known

20        to me at this time, which I believe I have a

21        number of cards from elected officials, and I will

22        give them the chance to testify first. 

23                We will now be receiving testimony.  The

24        first card I have received is Mayor Brown.

25        MAYOR BROWN:     Thank you.  First of all, I have

0006

 1        a letter from Commissioner Thurber that she wishes

 2        to be read into the record. 

 3                Please accept this letter in lieu of my

 4        appearance at this hearing.  I would like to voice

 5        my personal support of the U.S. Coking Group's

 6        plant being proposed in Lucas County. 

 7                This project is not only a tremendous

 8        economic benefit for Lucas County but for the

 9        entire United States.  A new coke plant will be an

10        important step in making the U.S. less dependent

11        on foreign coke.  Currently the U.S. imports a

12        significant portion of coke for steel production. 

13        However, throughout the world coke is scarce and

14        is considered a strategic commodity to any economy

15        that includes an industrial manufacturing base. 

16                This project is not destroying a

17        greenfield piece of property such as a farm field

18        or wooded land.  This plant will take full

19        advantage of an underutilized brownfield site.  In

20        addition, Lucas County is one of the few places on

21        the Great Lakes that offer the infrastructure

22        needed for this project.  The site is ideally

23        suited for this type of facility because we offer

24        rail access, seaport access, freeway access,

25        proximity to markets, infrastructure, parcel size,

0007

 1        zoning, water, and, most importantly, a skilled

 2        and dedicated workforce. 

 3                Not only will the project create between

 4        150 to 200 permanent jobs, but the approximate 350

 5        million dollar investment will also create about

 6        1,000 badly needed construction jobs for the

 7        various skilled trades of our area. 

 8                The Ohio EPA recently reviewed and issued

 9        a draft approval for the coke plant's air permit

10        to install, meaning that the emissions controls

11        from the plant will meet the Clean Air Act

12        regulations.  This plant will use the most

13        innovative and environmentally sound technology

14        available, including the best available controls

15        technology to minimize air emissions. 

16                I have confidence, after reviewing the

17        proposal for the plant, that the proper

18        environmental concerns are being addressed in the

19        plant design, the equipment specifications,

20        specifically, flat push technology, and in the

21        operation, once the plant is built.  I urge the

22        approval of the permit to install.  And I will

23        give you this when I give you mine.

24                After many months -- this is mine, okay. 

25        After many months of talking with representatives

0008

 1        of the U.S. Coking Group, I feel very confident in

 2        their ability to meet the standards outlined in

 3        the air permit to install and that they will be

 4        very good corporate neighbors.  I understand that

 5        they will use state of the art technology that

 6        will be very clean and efficient. 

 7                To gain a level of comfort to what a plant

 8        like this would mean to our community, I called

 9        the environmental manager of another coking plant

10        operating in the United States.  I did this

11        yesterday.  What I found was that today's plants

12        operate with many complex environmental controls,

13        unlike the plants of yesterday, and those of us

14        who are from Toledo realize and remember those

15        plants.  I was extremely pleased with their strong

16        environmental controls and community perception. 

17        They are considered very good neighbors. 

18                I am confident in the USEPA, the Ohio EPA,

19        and the Toledo Division of Environmental Services'

20        ability to complete a thorough review of this

21        permit to ensure to the citizens of Oregon that

22        the plant design and the operations will meet the

23        Clean Air Act requirements. 

24                If this plant doesn't build here, they'll

25        go someplace else.  We need the jobs. 

0009

 1        (Reaction from the Audience.)

 2        MS. MCCARRON:         Please be respectful to

 3        people providing testimony and keep your comments

 4        quiet.

 5        MAYOR BROWN:          We need the tax base, we

 6        need the boost to our economy, and we need to

 7        encourage businesses committed to coming here to

 8        meet all environmental standards.  Thank you.

 9        MS. MCCARRON:          I am sure Mayor Brown

10        appreciates your applause, but if we could please

11        not applaud after every speaker or we will be here

12        very long.  One thing that I forgot to mention

13        before we got started is that when you come up to

14        the microphone, if you would please state your

15        name, spell it for the record, and state where you

16        are from, and that's it.  We are going to provide

17        five minutes per person for their speeches. 

18                The next public official wishing to

19        testify this evening is Tina Skeldon Wozniak.

20        MS. WOZNIAK:          Good evening.  Tina Wozniak,

21        W-o-z-n-i-a-k, Lucas County Commissioner.  I

22        support this permit.  We need two things in our

23        community.  We need jobs.  We need them badly. 

24        This is a good investment.  It is an investment in

25        a product that is in constant demand.  This

0010

 1        product, these jobs are less subject to the whims

 2        of a difficult economy.  

 3                The second part is we need a strong

 4        economy, and although legitimate environmental

 5        concerns are being discussed, I reject those who

 6        say that we have to choose between jobs and a good

 7        environment.  I refuse to accept that because I

 8        want both.  Our community needs jobs, good jobs,

 9        good paying jobs, and a good environment and a

10        clean environment. 

11                I challenge this plant to use the most up

12        to date technology to ensure that they meet all

13        environmental standards for safety, both for the

14        residents and for the workers.  If they do that,

15        and that's what they say they will do, their plant

16        will be just as good for the economy as our

17        health.  Again, I support this permit.

18        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Again, if you

19        could please hold your applause.  Mayor Jack Ford.

20        MAYOR FORD:           Madam Chair, thank you for

21        this courtesy of being able to speak.  A recent

22        news report indicated that the proposed plant had

23        raised some flags regarding possible dangers. 

24        When I read that early one morning, I was deeply

25        concerned about the tone of the news report.  We

0011

 1        convened a group at city hall in Toledo and asked

 2        that there be a thorough review, literally a

 3        de novo approach to it. 

 4                After going through that process, I was

 5        informed and I believe that there were some errors

 6        or exaggerations in the description.  In fact,

 7        there will not be 680 pounds of mercury emitted

 8        each year from the plant, and secondly, on that

 9        issue, the report did not take into account

10        technology that will be in place that would reduce

11        whatever emission occurs by 90 percent, and so it

12        is just not accurate.  There was some comment with

13        respect to this new plant would emit more mercury

14        than the Bayshore plant.  Again, in looking at the

15        technology, again, in fact, it would be far less.

16                The article also assumed that all coal is

17        to be combusted in the coke plant when, in fact,

18        it will be cooked.  Now, when I was told this, I

19        didn't know what the hell that meant.  I asked for

20        that to be explained further to me.  As I

21        understand it, cooking coal does not drive off all

22        the mercury as does combusting it. 

23                Only after strong internal review did my

24        comfort level reach the point that it's at today

25        where I could say I support this.  There's been a

0012

 1        lot of good arguments made about the jobs. 

 2        Commissioner Thurber I think was very accurate to

 3        point out it is a national security argument that

 4        is also embedded in the possibility of this plant,

 5        but the health concern was the threshold issue for

 6        me, and had I thought or was convinced that there

 7        was the risk that was originally described, I

 8        would not be here today in support, but I'm

 9        convinced otherwise, and I support it.  Thank you. 

10        I'm sorry, I'm Jack Ford, Mayor, F-o-r-d.

11        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  James Seaman.

12        MR. SEAMAN:           James Seaman, Oregon, Ohio,

13        Oregon city councilman, S-e-a-m-a-n.  I would just

14        like to say to everyone and to the Ohio EPA that,

15        you know, Oregon has a strong track record of

16        caring about their environment.  We've put in

17        millions of dollars in the sanitary sewers

18        recently.  We've improved our wastewater treatment

19        plant when we had an EPA difficulty with the flow

20        equalization project.  We spent over five million

21        to six million dollars for that project, which is

22        a lot of money for a city the size of Oregon, so

23        it shows we care about our environment. 

24                We spent over ten million dollars out of

25        the -- out of local Oregon money over the last

0013

 1        five years to expand our water treatment plant

 2        from eight million to sixteen million gallons

 3        production per day.  The total project is twenty

 4        million, and we're taking a loan of from nine to

 5        ten million dollars over this five-year period of

 6        time, so we're working hard to do what we can to

 7        improve the environment. 

 8                We have the Wynn Road buffer that we're

 9        planning that our legal department and our mayor

10        is working hard to deal with the facility three

11        dredgings.  We're concerned.  We don't have a

12        complete answer for that, but that's a tough

13        situation.  We care about that part of the

14        community.  We care about northwestern Ohio and

15        Oregon. 

16                We have the James Haley Boardwalk that

17        we've implemented and built over the last few

18        years, and, of course, we have our beautiful state

19        park which Representative Barney Quilter helped us

20        build, so we have a lot to be proud of in Oregon

21        and northwestern Ohio. 

22                Our educational system in northwestern

23        Ohio emphasizes certified apprenticeship programs. 

24        It emphasizes education for our young to go into

25        these kind of skilled jobs that this plant would

0014

 1        produce.  We can't just stop in the middle of

 2        things and we have plans to educate people and

 3        provide them the knowledge they need to function

 4        properly and work in these plants and then all of

 5        a sudden say nope, the plants aren't here, we're

 6        going to send your jobs overseas. 

 7                We need this plant.  We need these jobs. 

 8        I work as a psychologist and an educator, and I

 9        see first-hand what happens when people are

10        unemployed and underemployed, and I see this as an

11        opportunity to strengthen our base of employment. 

12        The construction phase will put a lot of the

13        electricians to work, people who are on the list

14        who don't have a job right now.  We've got a lot

15        of other skilled laborers that need -- Local 500,

16        our general laborers, they need to get to work. 

17        Some of the councilmen said the ironworkers are

18        doing good with the bridge right now, but that

19        won't last forever either. 

20                We need to employ people so that they can

21        spend the money back into the community.  That

22        multiplier effect is tremendous.  The property tax

23        the schools will reap will be tremendous.  You

24        know we have a lot of pressure for proficiency

25        tests.  It takes a lot of new technology.  We need

0015

 1        new buildings in the City of Oregon schools.  The

 2        money from the tangible personal property for the

 3        equipment that that plant will provide, even

 4        though it will be a form of abatement, will be

 5        more money than that school district would have

 6        had previously. 

 7                So we have a lot of positive things

 8        happening.  There's a lot of positive impact a

 9        facility of this nature can create for the city of

10        Oregon.  We're going to hold your feet to the

11        fire, and I think we all want to do that.  There

12        are environmental concerns, but I think they'll

13        meet all the guaranteed requirements of clean air,

14        and that's very important for all of us. 

15                We need to -- we need to work together. 

16        We need to trust each other so that we can grow

17        together.  The impact of something like this is

18        very positive.  We have -- we have a lot of -- we

19        have some difficulties, but, you know, with the

20        addition of the water treatment plant, we have the

21        capability of providing the infrastructure for a

22        plant like this.  They're going to need over a

23        million gallons of potable water on a daily basis. 

24        We have a water treatment plant that's capable of

25        providing that, and we're proud of that, and I

0016

 1        guess all of Oregon's proud of our water treatment

 2        plant because it kinds of makes us unique in terms

 3        of the suburbs in that we have our own independent

 4        water supply. 

 5                So the bottom line is that we do have a

 6        positive track record, we care about the

 7        environment, and we'll continue to care, and we'll

 8        continue to hold their feet to the fire to make

 9        sure they live up to all the regulations.  Thank

10        you very much.

11        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Betty Shultz.

12        MS. SHULTZ:           Thank you.  I'm Betty

13        Shultz.  I'm a City of Toledo city councilwoman,

14        and that's S-h-u-l-t-z. 

15                First of all, I want to thank you for

16        giving me the opportunity to testify.  I will not

17        go over those things that have been presented by

18        the previous speakers but only to say that I would

19        reiterate every point made. 

20                The bottom line is that the price of steel

21        is ever escalating and holding us hostage. 

22        Recently that occurred with construction of the

23        new bridge.  We need to be able to produce it and

24        produce it easily and effectively.  That can

25        happen with this facility. 

0017

 1                More importantly, we in this community

 2        have been begging jobs to come to northwest Ohio. 

 3        These are good jobs.  It will provide construction

 4        jobs.  We've had our people sitting in the halls

 5        asking for jobs for too long.  The economy in this

 6        community can only go upwards by permitting this

 7        to occur.  We have people who want to invest in

 8        our community. 

 9                To echo the sentiments of Mayor Brown, if

10        they don't build here, they will go someplace

11        else, and if they go someplace else, they're going

12        to take at least 150 jobs that pay 25 to $35 an

13        hour, not to mention the hundreds of construction

14        jobs that have been so desperately needed in this

15        community. 

16                Maybe many of us who stand here tonight

17        will have political differences.  We are united in

18        our appeal to bring work to our citizens, to bring

19        good economic conditions to our citizens, and I

20        encourage you to approve this. 

21                I would end my testimony with my thanks

22        for expediting the process.  We know that many

23        times we are all accused of creating bureaucracy. 

24        I believe that you've done a service to this

25        community by expediting this permit process. 

0018

 1                I've had the opportunity, unlike maybe

 2        some of my colleagues, to speak with some people

 3        who are known experts in this field.  This has

 4        been put together with input from all of them, and

 5        to those people who are the experts and wish to

 6        remain unnamed for whatever reasons, many of them

 7        in this room, I've trusted my life to them, and I

 8        would trust the life of my grandchildren to them. 

 9        Thank you very much.

10        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Frank Szollosi.

11        MR. SZOLLOSI:         Frank Szollosi, councilman

12        for the City of Toledo, S-z-o-l-l-o-s-i. 

13                Leaving some of the legal details to my

14        brother who's going to speak here in a moment, but

15        let me just say that I stand in support of Mayor

16        Brown and Mayor Ford and Commissioner Tina Skeldon

17        Wozniak in support of this permit.  I applaud

18        Mayor Ford for conducting his own environmental

19        review as it were. 

20                If there was a threat to the public

21        health, we would be opposed to it, but we

22        appreciate the Ohio EPA assessing the science,

23        assessing the technology, and I feel fortunate

24        that we in this community don't have to choose

25        between jobs and the environment thanks to new

0019

 1        technology, so as one councilman for the City of

 2        Toledo, I pledge to work with Oregon and with the

 3        Ohio EPA and with the company to help make this a

 4        success for everybody.  Thank you.

 5        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  That is the last

 6        of my public official cards.  What was your name?

 7        MR. SZOLLOSI:         Matthew Szollosi.

 8        MS. MCCARRON:         Mr. Szollosi, step up to the

 9        microphone.

10        MR. SZOLLOSI:         Matthew Szollosi,

11        S-z-o-l-l-o-s-i.  I serve on Oregon City Council. 

12        I am chairman of the Economic Development and

13        Planning Committee, and I serve on Council

14        President Mike Sheehy's Public Utilities and

15        Environmental Committee.  Approximately four years

16        ago I was appointed by Governor Taft and the

17        director of the Ohio Department of Natural

18        Resources to be Lucas County's representative on

19        the State of Ohio Coastal Resources Advisory

20        Council.  I've served several years on the Public

21        Utility and Environmental Committee for the City

22        of Oregon. 

23                During my five years on Oregon City

24        Council, I've certainly not always agreed with

25        decisions made by the Ohio EPA, and as a matter of

0020

 1        fact, I have fought tooth and nail with many of

 2        the people in this room on issues that I felt very

 3        strongly about, people that I have a great deal of

 4        respect for and that are certainly very

 5        intelligent and capable people.  I certainly have

 6        not been shy about expressing my thoughts with

 7        respect to opposition to issues in the past. 

 8                However, I am here tonight to express my

 9        absolute support for what I consider to be a once

10        in a generation opportunity for the City of

11        Oregon.  I live -- my wife and I just completed

12        construction of our house approximately one mile

13        from where the facility is going to be, if

14        permitted, constructed by our local building and

15        construction trades workers.  I can state

16        unequivocally that I would not be in support of

17        this project if I didn't feel assured that the

18        operational monitoring, reporting, and testing

19        requirements would be at the highest and most

20        restrictive nature. 

21                Over many months as the city has engaged

22        in this process, state and local regulators have

23        assured us that the operations of this plant will

24        utilize the best available controls technology to

25        minimize air emissions.  Without fail, we've been

0021

 1        assured the most up to date and stringent

 2        regulations will be put in place and enforced to

 3        ensure the safety of the facility's workers. 

 4                And as an Oregon city councilman, I don't

 5        feel that I would be doing my job had I failed to

 6        look at the economic impact of this facility on

 7        our community.  I have a commitment to bring high

 8        paying jobs to this community.  We must

 9        continually as a city, continually and

10        consistently strive to diversify our tax base. 

11        The city has an obligation to stretch taxpayer

12        dollars to the fullest extent while continuing to

13        provide exceptional city services.  I have pledged

14        to do that, and I will continue to do that. 

15                Investment on this scale coupled with the

16        spin-off development we anticipate to occur will

17        allow the city to continue to provide exceptional

18        city services, assist our schools, and provide

19        much needed jobs for our community while taking

20        the burden off the backs of Oregon's taxpayers. 

21                I strongly urge the Ohio EPA to grant this

22        final permit to install.  Thank you for the

23        opportunity to speak here this evening.

24        MS. MCCARRON:         Mike Sheehy.

25        MR. SHEEHY:           Thank you.  My name is Mike

0022

 1        Sheehy.  I'm president of Oregon City Council, and

 2        my comments do not reflect all the members of

 3        council's opinions, but those of my own.  However,

 4        I'm quick to comment that I agree whole-heartedly

 5        with the comments made by both of my colleagues,

 6        Mr. Seaman and -- Councilman Seaman and Councilman

 7        Szollosi.  I'll point out that also our other

 8        colleagues are present at this hearing, Sharon

 9        Rudess and Mr. Jeff Keller. 

10                I want you to know that I have a strong

11        and abiding commitment to public safety.  I am the

12        only member of city council that has taken a

13        strong position, for instance, against smoking

14        cigarettes at -- where people eat, in a restaurant

15        where people eat.  Now, this may seem to some of

16        you maybe not like a very strong, tough position

17        to take, but believe me, after talking to some of

18        the entrepreneurs who think the other way, I

19        assure you it's not a position that's easily

20        taken. 

21                Like Mr. Szollosi, I have worked very hard

22        to see that the environmental concerns of this

23        community are met.  We have objected strenuously

24        to certain corporations in the community who we

25        have felt were not meeting the specifications to

0023

 1        the USEPA or Ohio EPA.  We will continue to find a

 2        solution to facility three about the dredgings in

 3        the port to protect not only the lake but also the

 4        lands in our community.  And so believe me, if I

 5        felt in any way, shape, or form that this was the

 6        wrong project and the wrong place, I would let you

 7        know and I would object strenuously.

 8                Much has been said this evening from the

 9        very beginning of Mr. Hopkins' comments and in the

10        local newspaper about the breakneck speed at which

11        Ohio EPA has come to the conclusion this permit is

12        to be -- was going to be allowed.  Normally

13        working in government and if something doesn't

14        happen quickly, quickly, now or yesterday, then we

15        hear nothing but criticism and scorn and concern

16        because you folks in government, whether it's

17        municipal, state, or local or federal, don't work

18        quickly enough, and now the EPA with this permit

19        works in a quick and efficient manner, puts aside

20        some concerns that maybe should be set aside, and

21        does what the community -- what the community

22        leaders and I think what the overwhelming number

23        of people in the community want is to work on that

24        permit and get that permit through, and then you

25        are roundly criticized.  For that I say we're very

0024

 1        sorry that you are -- that you were criticized,

 2        and I think that you did the right thing.

 3                Coking facilities, they're not really

 4        pleasant places.  I've been 40 years in the rail

 5        industry, and I've been in some of the worst and

 6        some of the best coking facilities in this country

 7        between here and Chicago, Illinois.  I've waded

 8        almost ankle deep in pollutants over in the former

 9        coppers over on Front Street in East Toledo.  I

10        breathed the stuff.  I blew my nose after 12 hours

11        in the facility delivering and pulling coal and

12        coke in those facilities, so I know what I'm

13        talking about. 

14                And so it was grave concern -- it was with

15        grave concern that I found out about two years ago

16        that a coking facility was coming to Oregon, but I

17        did some investigation about the group, and I

18        investigated the new technology, and I am

19        satisfied that the U.S. Coking Group is concerned

20        enough that they will comply with the U.S. and

21        Ohio EPA regulations and that they are consistent

22        with the modern day technology for this industry. 

23                One of my major concerns in my political

24        life is to have watched in the last 20 or 30 years

25        as jobs and industry and progress have gone south

0025

 1        and west in this country, and finally the

 2        opportunity has -- the world has turned, and we

 3        have an opportunity to have something to change

 4        things in this community, not just for Oregon, not

 5        just for northwestern Ohio, but for the entire

 6        region.  Our congresswoman stated very recently in

 7        Washington, D.C. in one of the hearings on

 8        economic development, and her concerns were that

 9        this -- what we need in the industrial midwest is

10        a rebirth, a rebirth of industry where there are

11        jobs where young people don't have to go away to

12        find work. 

13                In the rail industry, I've been blessed to

14        have been an instructor at some of the rail

15        schools for conductor and engineer training

16        throughout the entire eastern part of the United

17        States, and especially in this part of the

18        midwest, I have seen people come in who have lost

19        jobs, fellows that have been -- with Master's

20        degrees, highly technical people, and, frankly, I

21        would take them aside, and I would say are you

22        sure you want to become a railroad conductor, are

23        you sure that's what you want to do, and they'll

24        tell me, hey, there's nothing out there, there's

25        nothing -- this is the best job that I can find,

0026

 1        and so they continue, and so they're happy to come

 2        into the industry where there's good payroll and

 3        good benefits. 

 4                The environment -- the environmental

 5        concerns are real to us all, and if I felt in any

 6        way, shape, or form that they could not be -- that

 7        those -- the concerns could not be met, I would

 8        oppose this. 

 9                For you folks who are here in opposition,

10        believe me, study the facts, don't listen to

11        Chicken Little, the sky is falling, the sky is

12        falling, again, because believe me, the sky is not

13        falling, and we're looking for progress and we're

14        looking for a rebirth in not just the steel

15        industry but heavy industry and all industry in

16        the American midwest. 

17                And I thank you for your time, and I want

18        to go on record as for the permit.  Thank you.

19        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Would any other

20        elected officials like to submit testimony before

21        we -- yes.

22        MR. STANOYEVIC:       My name is Carl Stanoyevic. 

23        I am a councilman in the Village of Harbor View. 

24        I'll spell my last name, S-t-a-n-o-y-e-v-i-c.  I

25        know we need jobs in this area.  I'm in the

0027

 1        transportation industry.  I go in and out of steel

 2        and coke mills, and they're very dirty, very

 3        dirty. 

 4                We're a small community that's on the

 5        northwest end of Oregon here.  At our May 11th

 6        council meeting we wrote a resolution, and it was

 7        voted on unanimously against this facility as we

 8        are being polluted upon right now by Toledo Edison

 9        and by the B.P.  B.P. has been a pretty good

10        neighbor with us.  Toledo Edison has not, however. 

11        We don't want any more dust.  We don't want any

12        more dirt. 

13                The Village of Harbor View has written a

14        resolution, a resolution opposing the proposed

15        coke facility in Oregon, Ohio, whose prevailing

16        winds will carry millions of pounds of pollutants

17        annually and will seriously impact the health and

18        welfare of the residents of Harbor View and the

19        surrounding area.  We're not the only people that

20        live there.  There are residents of Oregon that do

21        live back there, and it's like they are forgotten

22        by Oregon.  

23                Whereas, the existing B.P. refinery, the

24        Toledo Lucas County Port Authority Taconite

25        Facility, and FirstEnergy Bayshore power plant

0028

 1        emit pollutants and periodically have incidents

 2        that impact the residents of the Village of Harbor

 3        View; and

 4                Whereas, the Ohio EPA has issued a draft

 5        permit to U.S. Coking Group for a new coking plant

 6        that will emit up to eight million additional

 7        pounds of pollutants annually whose prevailing

 8        winds will go over the Village of Harbor View; and

 9                Whereas, officials from U.S. Coking Group,

10        the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, Lucas

11        County, Ohio, and the City of Oregon have failed

12        to inform the residents of the Village of Harbor

13        View of the plans and emissions and risks

14        associated with the facility; and

15                Whereas, Council has been advised that as

16        of June 15th Lucas County will be subject to ozone

17        pollution limits, chemicals in the Clean Air act;

18        and

19                Whereas, Council has been advised that the

20        American Lung Association provides information

21        about the proposed coke plant pollutants causing

22        asthma, allergies, cancer, and other illnesses;

23        and

24                Whereas, Council has been advised that the

25        Ohio EPA has expedited the U.S. Coking Group

0029

 1        permit to beat the deadline for the new Lucas

 2        County restrictions and the U.S. Coking Plant

 3        would add over one million pounds of pollutants to

 4        the air that would not be permitted after

 5        June 15th; and

 6                Whereas, Council has been advised that the

 7        U.S. Coking permit includes the following

 8        hazardous and toxic pollutants:  Benzene,

 9        bromomethane, chloromethane, methyl chloride,

10        phenol, toluene, total polycyclic aromatic

11        hydrocarbons, mercury, arsenic, and lead; and

12                Whereas, Council has been advised that the

13        proposed coke plant estimates that up to 680

14        pounds of mercury will be emitted annually, a

15        major new source of mercury impacting the fish and

16        water of the western basin of Lake Erie; and

17                Whereas, for all of the reasons stated

18        above with the foremost reason being the public

19        health and safety of not only the residents of

20        Harbor View but those living and working and

21        traveling through who will be impacted by this

22        plant.

23                 Now therefore be it resolved by the

24        Council of the Village of Harbor View.  It was

25        voted on unanimously, five yeses, zero nos, and I

0030

 1        would like to admit this into the record.

 2        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.

 3        MR. STANOYEVIC:       Thank you.

 4        MS. MCCARRON:         Sharon Graffeo-Rudess.

 5        MS. RUDESS:           Sharon Graffeo-Rudess,

 6        Oregon city councilwoman.  That's spelled

 7        R-u-d-e-s-s. 

 8                I will not repeat what my colleagues have

 9        said before me, but I am concerned, like the rest

10        of the Oregon councilpeople here today, trying to

11        bring tax dollars into our community.  We know

12        that we have been getting more economic

13        development here.  We are getting more and more

14        residents into Lucas County, but we want to keep

15        our quality of life.  I too don't live only maybe

16        a couple miles from the proposed site.  I too have

17        grandchildren here.  I too plan to stay here for a

18        long time. 

19                I just want to say that I do support this

20        project.  If the permit is given, especially I

21        know in the room here this evening there are many,

22        many tradespersons here from all the trades, and I

23        too would like to keep some of those men and women

24        working.  Thank you.

25        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Again, if we can

0031

 1        hold our applause so that we can get through the

 2        testimony.  Any other elected officials that would

 3        like to speak tonight?  If you choose to do it

 4        later, you can turn in a blue card to me.  Rick

 5        Hodges.

 6        MR. HODGES:           Good evening.  My name is

 7        Richard Hodges, H-o-d-g-e-s.  I just came from

 8        Northwood.  I'm the executive vice-president of

 9        the Mechanical Contractors Association of

10        Northwestern Ohio.  I'm here to speak on behalf of

11        my association, the National Electrical

12        Contractors of Northwest Ohio and Southeast

13        Michigan, the Associated General Contractors, and

14        the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction

15        Trades.  Together our organizations represent

16        approximately 500 contractors and 12,000 skilled

17        union craftspeople in northwest Ohio and southeast

18        Michigan. 

19                Our industry has been in the midst of a

20        severe recession for the past several years.  We

21        have struggled with high unemployment rates that

22        have, at times, exceeded 30 percent amongst some

23        crafts.  Needless to say, the construction of the

24        plant here would bring a great deal of relief to

25        many families who live in this community.  This

0032

 1        300 million dollar plant will generate as many as

 2        1,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent

 3        positions.  The economic impact of this project

 4        will help to reenergize an area that is in need of

 5        such help long after the construction's finished. 

 6                Additionally, the proposed construction

 7        site will improve an underutilized brownfield site

 8        and not further encroach on valuable farm land.  I

 9        myself live in a rural area near here, and I

10        believe the best environmental policy is one that

11        allows for economic growth while maintaining the

12        quality of our rural communities.  I do not

13        pretend to be an environmental expert, but I do

14        understand that various environmental hurdles have

15        already been cleared and, in the future, the plant

16        will still be expected to comply with air quality

17        standards with the best available technology. 

18                Thank you for the opportunity to speak on

19        behalf of this project this evening, and we would

20        all appreciate your favorable consideration.

21        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Nisha Kapadia.

22        MS. KAPADIA:          Nisha Kapadia, N-i-s-h-a

23        K-a-p-a-d-i-a.  I am from the National Wildlife

24        Federation, Great Lakes Natural Resource Center in

25        Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

0033

 1                On behalf of the National Wildlife

 2        Federation and its members and supporters, I'm

 3        pleased to have the opportunity to address the

 4        issue of a proposed coking plant for Oregon that

 5        is currently in an expedited permitting phase. 

 6        Though the proposed plant would emit large

 7        quantities of a number of pollutants, our comments

 8        focus on the issue of mercury contamination.  We

 9        also wish to stress the critical role meaningful

10        public engagement plays in ensuring sound

11        industrial projects that will benefit communities

12        and the economy over the long term. 

13                NWF is a national conservation education

14        and advocacy organization with over four million

15        members and supporters around the country. 

16        Through our Great Lakes field office in Ann Arbor,

17        Michigan, and working with a number of other

18        groups, including our state affiliate in Ohio, the

19        League of Ohio Sportsmen, we have been actively

20        involved in efforts to reduce and virtually

21        eliminate the releases of persistent,

22        bioaccumulative, toxic chemicals, including

23        mercury, in the Great Lakes region. 

24                Mercury is a serious problem in Ohio and

25        nationwide.  Ohio, along with every other Great

0034

 1        Lakes state but New York, has a statewide mercury

 2        advisory in place.  The statewide advisory was

 3        revised last year to indicate that all Ohioans

 4        should limit their consumption of any fish species

 5        in any Ohio water body to no more than one meal

 6        per week.  In addition, more respective advisories

 7        due to mercury along with PCBs are in place for

 8        common carp and smallmouth bass in the Maumee

 9        River, and similar advisories are in place for

10        channel catfish and largemouth bass in the

11        Sandusky River to the east. 

12                Mercury that is released to the air by

13        industrial processes can then be deposited back on

14        the land and our surface waters.  Once converted

15        to the methylmercury in water, it can readily

16        bioaccumulate in the food chain.  In this way

17        predator fish such as walleye can have mercury

18        concentrations over one million times higher than

19        the surrounding water.  So for most water bodies

20        addressing the mercury contamination problem means

21        dealing with sources that release mercury to the

22        air. 

23                Working with a number of Ohio

24        organizations, we recently released the results of

25        rain testing carried out in Cleveland that showed

0035

 1        mercury levels in Cleveland rain which averaged

 2        almost eight times the level the EPA considers

 3        safe for the surface waters of the Great Lakes. 

 4        Because of mercury air pollution, Ohio's rain

 5        isn't cleaning our water bodies, it's

 6        contaminating them. 

 7                Mercury contamination of fish has

 8        potential economic repercussions as well. 

 9        According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

10        nearly 1.4 million anglers fished in the state in

11        2001, and direct fishing-related expenditures

12        amount to over 760 million dollars annually. 

13                Mercury contamination of the environment

14        is a persistent problem that is drawing increasing

15        attention from scientists, policy makers, and the

16        general public.  Mercury is a toxic heavy metal

17        which can damage both human and wildlife health. 

18        Based on the most recent data on blood mercury

19        levels obtained by the Centers for Disease Control

20        and Prevention, the USEPA recently estimated that

21        up to 630,000 newborns a year in the U.S. are at

22        risk for neurodevelopmental problems, including in

23        the areas of memory, attention, and language

24        development, due to mercury exposure they receive

25        in the womb.  This figure doubles earlier

0036

 1        estimates. 

 2                The proposed coking plant for Oregon would

 3        add to the ongoing mercury contamination problem

 4        in Ohio and the region and could impede state

 5        efforts, not just in Ohio, but in Michigan and

 6        elsewhere to achieve mercury reductions. 

 7        According to information accompanying the draft

 8        permit, the facility would release up to 680

 9        pounds of mercury annually, making it the fifth

10        largest source of mercury in the state.  To put

11        this number in context, the total amount of

12        mercury in a 25-acre lake under a mercury advisory

13        would fit in one fever thermometer, so releases of

14        this magnitude are very important. 

15                The move to build the proposed coking

16        plant comes at a time of increased activities at

17        state, regional, and national levels to address

18        mercury emissions from all sources.  NWF and a

19        number of other groups in Ohio and Michigan are

20        promoting initiatives to reduce the use of mercury

21        in products and processes.  Strong regulations

22        have been adopted in the past decade addressing

23        mercury emissions from incinerators, and we are

24        currently advocating for the development of strong

25        federal standards, as well as independent state

0037

 1        regulations, on power plants.  While coal-fired

 2        power plants account for 67 percent of the

 3        emissions in Ohio, coking operations can also be

 4        important mercury sources.  The proposed plant's

 5        emissions would be comparable to those from a

 6        large power plant, and to date the company has not

 7        proposed any method whatsoever of mercury

 8        pollution control. 

 9                We are very concerned about both the lack

10        of any specific limits on mercury emissions from

11        the Oregon coking facility as well as the

12        expedited process by which the draft permit was

13        developed.  It is not clear that adoption of

14        particulate matter emission limits and work

15        practice standards for fugitive emissions of other

16        pollutants will be sufficient to substantially

17        reduce mercury emissions from the plant.  A much

18        more thorough analysis should be done to determine

19        the potential for these measures to affect mercury

20        releases. 

21                In addition to the problems with mercury,

22        the proposed plant would also add another source

23        of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other

24        pollutants to the region's air, contributing to

25        ongoing smog and particulate problems in the

0038

 1        region, including across the border in Michigan,

 2        and acid deposition in regions downwind.  Other

 3        pollutants that would be released from the

 4        facility include volatile organic compounds, such

 5        as benzene and toluene, polycyclic organic matter,

 6        and dioxins and furans. 

 7                For these reasons, NWF believes the city

 8        should request that Ohio EPA take the time to

 9        develop a more thorough analysis of the proposed

10        plan and potential emissions, ensuring that both

11        the potential for elevated releases of both

12        mercury and numerous other chemicals are addressed

13        in a more systematic manner. 

14                While it is important that the industrial

15        and manufacturing sectors in the region are

16        strong, it is equally important to ensure

17        environmental protection and that new industrial

18        development move in a direction of the cleanest

19        production processes possible.  Indeed,

20        developing, manufacturing, and installing new

21        clean technologies has the potential to anchor

22        new, sound, long-term economic development in

23        Ohio. 

24                This promise can only be met if projects

25        are thoroughly reviewed, the public and experts

0039

 1        engaged, and their comments fully considered. 

 2        Accordingly, we further -- we urge further

 3        extension of the comment period for this project. 

 4        The citizens of Ohio, Michigan, and elsewhere in

 5        the Great Lakes, along with the lakes and rivers

 6        we depend on, deserve no less.  Thank you.

 7        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Tim Susor.

 8        MR. SUSOR:            Tom.

 9        MS. MCCARRON:         Sorry, Tom.

10        MR. SUSOR:            I answer to anything.  Tom

11        Susor, 105 Cedarwood, Oregon, Ohio.  I'm here

12        wearing a multitude of hats this evening, one of

13        which is a father and a grandfather of seven and

14        soon to be eight in September grandchildren.  We

15        all live in Oregon a couple miles from the

16        proposed facility. 

17                I'm here to say a couple things, one of

18        which is this is not your father's coker.  I'm a

19        life-long electrician.  I was a maintenance

20        electrician at the Interlake Steel and the coking

21        facility that was on Front Street, and if we all

22        think of that facility, if facilities were ran

23        that way today, I would be standing here telling

24        you I would shoot you if you decided to permit

25        that. 

0040

 1                Well, this is not my father's coke oven. 

 2        This is a heat recovery coking process.  We need

 3        to keep ourselves focused on the prize.  Emissions

 4        at a heat recovery facility, they are different

 5        than a byproduct producing coke oven facility.  Do

 6        your homework, environmentalists, on heat recovery

 7        coke ovens and find out how the process works. 

 8        Find out the technology available and the

 9        technology utilized in the new process. 

10                That being said, I'm -- I'm an electrical

11        contractor in northwest Ohio and employ about 17

12        guys, formerly about 37 guys, but it's been a

13        little tough times.  Three years ago northwest

14        Ohio produced a little over four million manhours,

15        electrical working manhours in northwest Ohio. 

16        The last year we produced 1.9 million manhours. 

17        Do the math.  We need the work.  We need real

18        jobs.  We need to keep our children employed in

19        their homes and by their families, not trekking

20        off somewhere else to find a job that they can

21        earn a living at. 

22                These jobs are producing new -- real live

23        jobs that will not only give us short-term

24        employment like a Meijer's store or -- that was a

25        bad analogy -- or a restaurant, we go and we do

0041

 1        restaurant -- we build restaurants and we get done

 2        and we walk away, and ten years from now when they

 3        remodel we'll get to come in and do a little work. 

 4        We're talking industrial -- heavy industrial jobs,

 5        when you're done building the facility, you're

 6        there and you're still building the facility,

 7        you're improving, you're updating, your service

 8        calls and your work there is ongoing and ever

 9        changing.  This is continual economic growth and

10        base for northwest Ohio and Oregon.

11                I'm looking at -- I've been involved in

12        the process with our Oregon school system

13        recently, and we are in need of renovations and

14        makeovers.  That money doesn't come from trees or

15        from the air.  I mean, if you're not looking at

16        our industrial base, then you're looking at a

17        sixteen mill levy instead of a six mill levy. 

18        You're looking at the unattainable, unreachable

19        tax base problems for northwest Ohio. 

20                We need to wake up, see where -- first of

21        all, we need to trust you people to do your jobs

22        and then trust the construction tradesman to do

23        their jobs and trust the plant operators who are

24        investing millions of dollars in an operation to

25        do their job.  If everybody has a little trust,

0042

 1        America can recover the steel industry, recover

 2        high production jobs, recover top -- real dollar

 3        jobs and not -- and you cannot do that with paper

 4        or plastic jobs. 

 5                We need real jobs.  We need real industry. 

 6        We need to be self-supporting America on our own

 7        steel so that we don't have to not build buildings

 8        because we can't afford the steel increases, and

 9        you don't do that by turning your back on real

10        people wanting to invest in your community.  I

11        applaud your speed in which you reacted to an

12        economic situation, and it certainly wasn't -- and

13        there's no bones about it, that was an economic

14        situation, you either get our permit through so we

15        can build this facility in a timely fashion so we

16        can help the economic outlook and our economic

17        outlook of building this facility in a location we

18        feel is ideal for it, and you reacted the way you

19        should have in response to what's best for

20        northwest Ohio.  Thank you for your actions. 

21                And I will submit some of this as -- when

22        you're look at building a new technological

23        advanced facility, you can't project -- I mean,

24        you can do your models and you can project on the

25        output and what's going to be produced or you've

0043

 1        got to look to recently built facilities that have

 2        similar type operations and see how they're

 3        performing and how they're reacting.  I have some

 4        stuff here on heat recovery coking operations,

 5        some environmental concerns and water usage

 6        concerns from a facility in northern Indiana I

 7        think you'd be interested in.  I think I'll submit

 8        those to whoever wants those.  You can read those

 9        through.

10        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.

11        MR. SUSOR:            Thank you for your time and

12        your patience.

13        MS. MCCARRON:         Mike Clark.

14        MR. CLARK:            My name is Michael Clark,

15        it's Richard Michael, C-l-a-r-k.

16        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.

17        MR. CLARK:            You can get ADA things in

18        here but not yet.  I grew up here in Oregon, and I

19        was in Columbus for 18 years.  Mary, you said you

20        were from Columbus.  We all remember the trash

21        burning power plant in Columbus.  Everybody

22        couldn't wait to open it but couldn't wait to shut

23        it down either. 

24                I came in here with an open mind tonight,

25        and I still have an open mind.  I've dealt with

0044

 1        the Environmental Services with Toledo in the past

 2        concerning other things going on.  They've done

 3        nothing.  Karen and Adam, I spoke to both of you

 4        prior to this concerning Sun Oil, problems that

 5        they have with emissions coming up.  They say

 6        well, call us when it happens, we'll try to see,

 7        and you know what happens, nothing. 

 8                I was concerned about one thing here with

 9        this plant, emissions, this new coke plant.  I got

10        more information tonight listening to the people

11        speaking than I did from the Environmental

12        Protection Agency.  Mr. Ford came in.  He actually

13        did some studies.  I was concerned about a few --

14        a few things coming up, such as -- oh, I only have

15        a small note with me because I'm not a big person

16        here, but mercury, 680 pounds a year is what they

17        were projecting.  I understand that's not a good

18        number because of the fact that the coke ovens are

19        state of the art now. 

20                Mr. Hopkins talked about a cyclonic action

21        thing from a stack.  I understand the stacks are

22        200 feet tall, one of them is.  There's going to

23        be several that are 60 feet.  You know, I'd be the

24        first one in line right now to apply for a job at

25        this plant.  I'm disabled, but I can answer the

0045

 1        phone, because the fact that the tax base in

 2        Oregon, first, we need -- my taxes went up $400

 3        last year for my property.  Do you know what that

 4        does for somebody on Social Security disability? 

 5        It hurts big time.  I'm having trouble getting the

 6        grass cut.  I can't hardly pay the utilities

 7        coming in because I'm -- I'm getting

 8        substantial -- under $10,000 a year to live on

 9        when our tax base goes up and continually goes up

10        for our schools.  We need new schools in Oregon,

11        which means there's another 4 to $500 a year that

12        it's going to go up. 

13                Hopefully -- if Oregon stops other plants

14        from coming in, other things from coming in -- you

15        need to do your job.  We've gotten very little

16        tonight.  I don't know how many of you people were

17        actually doing the application for this plant, but

18        we didn't get a lot of information from you.  We

19        got very little information, if anything, and I

20        was very disappointed in that.    

21                I'm still for the plant, but I wish that

22        this -- this group of people, they were more

23        forthcoming with the answers we needed to hear. 

24        We got them from people speaking.  We still have a

25        lot of people in the dark.  I'm still -- I'm not

0046

 1        completely turned over, but I'm almost there, I'm

 2        this close, simply because of the tax base that we

 3        have in Oregon, the jobs that we need.  I've heard

 4        several people speak that they have companies,

 5        large companies, they have workers laid off, they

 6        have -- we need the work.  Toledo needs the work. 

 7        Oregon needs the jobs here. 

 8                Yes, it's a brown space, you know.  Harbor

 9        View, that's been a place that everybody forgot

10        here too.  We need to remember Harbor View because

11        they do have a lot of pollutants hitting them, so

12        if you can guarantee that these pollutants are

13        going to be state of the art, they're not going to

14        get our pollutants that we've got coming from

15        Toledo Edison or from B.P. -- B.P.'s cleaned up

16        their act.  They're still working on it.  They've

17        done a lot of work over there.

18                You know, we talked about a million

19        gallons of water they're going to use over here at

20        this coke plant.  What's going to be emitted into

21        the air, what's going with it, and are we going to

22        clean it up or are we going to watch over it --

23        they say the EPA is watching everybody, they're a

24        watchdog for us.  I have an inground pool.  It's

25        pretty new.  It was just put in for therapy.  It's

0047

 1        fiberglass.  Every summer I have trouble now for

 2        two summers cleaning the oil off of that

 3        fiberglass. 

 4                I live over by Corduroy and Otter Creek,

 5        which is only a few miles from this new coke

 6        plant.  The wind's not going to be blowing my way. 

 7        There was a gentleman up here telling you what way

 8        the wind was going.  Was it northwest?  It's going

 9        out to the harbor.  Everything goes out to the

10        harbor, and those people have put up with enough. 

11        As long as you can guarantee their safety and not

12        be another plant like Columbus had which killed

13        how many people in the south end of Columbus

14        before they decided to shut that power plant down

15        because it was emitting too many things that were

16        hurting people, if you can guarantee that and know

17        what you're doing, I'm all for this plant, and

18        I'll be the first in line to apply for a job, but

19        if you're not, say it.  If you're rushing this

20        through too fast, stop it, you know. 

21                If it's only because of deadlines that

22        need to be reached by June 15th because of the

23        environment, we all lived through it in Columbus. 

24        We all live here in Columbus -- or Oregon rather,

25        we all live here.  Myself, I love Lake Erie perch. 

0048

 1        With the standards right now, it's scary.  I mean,

 2        if you limit yourself to one day a week eating

 3        perch, any lake fish, what would we do if we

 4        couldn't eat fish any more, they all died off.  We

 5        need to think about that for the future. 

 6                Everybody says we have grandchildren.  I

 7        don't have any grandchildren, I don't have any

 8        children, but at the same time there's where the

 9        Environmental Protection Agency becomes involved. 

10        They're to protect, not to get somebody's plant

11        open.  Don't cut any corners.  Get it open, then

12        do it the best you can. 

13                My -- the best thing I've heard from you

14        tonight was you guys implemented how many people

15        to put this whole coke thing together to, make

16        sure that it was expedited as fast as possible,

17        that was the best thing I've heard, because you

18        guys are doing it, but to get it open is one

19        thing, but make sure that you're not cutting any

20        corners and dropping the ball.  We'll hold you

21        accountable to it. 

22                There are a lot of things that happened

23        with Envirosafe here.  They're still ongoing. 

24        They want to increase.  They want to build more

25        from what I understand.  We need to look at a lot

0049

 1        of different studies before that happens, but

 2        let's keep Oregon safe.  The main one thing that

 3        everybody's trying to see is keeping us safe. 

 4                If it was your children or your

 5        grandchildren or if you lived here -- I know

 6        there's things that's out of your power and it's

 7        simply because there's no money for it to happen,

 8        for you to investigate some of it, you know. 

 9        Every time you -- you're letting -- you're putting

10        the wolf in charge of the hen house sometimes when

11        you're letting these companies police theirselves. 

12        That's not a good thing.  You know, yes, you can

13        come in and they're going to change it when you're

14        there, they're going to see -- you know, you're

15        supposed to implement how they do things, how they

16        test for their pollutants and are they doing that

17        when you're not there.  You know, anyway, that's

18        all I have to say.

19        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you, Mr. Clark.  Thank

20        you.  Steve Davis.

21        MR. DAVIS:            I'm Steve Davis, D-a-v-i-s. 

22        I'm with CSX Transportation out of Columbus, Ohio. 

23        Thank you for the opportunity to address the

24        panel. 

25                I'm here to state CSX Transportation's

0050

 1        support for this project.  I've been working for

 2        economic development in the State of Ohio since

 3        1987.  It's my responsibility to bring new jobs,

 4        investment, and customers to the State of Ohio. 

 5        Rail water sites are rare in the State of Ohio. 

 6        Toledo coal docks have lost jobs and tonnage over

 7        the years. 

 8                Now we have an opportunity to turn things

 9        around.  I can't think of a better site in Ohio

10        for this project, and this project represents our

11        best chance to bring jobs and investment to the

12        Toledo coal docks.  Thank you very much.

13        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Terry Hodge.

14        MR. LODGE:            Lodge.

15        MS. MCCARRON:         Lodge.

16        MR. LODGE:            It's Lodge.  For the record,

17        Terry Lodge is my name.  My experience with the

18        Ohio Environmental Protection Agency largely stems

19        from Envirosafe.  I find it very interesting that

20        Envirosafe's permit, last permit, which I think

21        was a five-year one, expired in 1996, and it's

22        been annually extended just unilaterally by the

23        Ohio EPA for seven, going on eight years, so that

24        has prevented any meaningful reconsideration of

25        the operations and the toxic emissions, the ground

0051

 1        water emissions of the Envirosafe dump, so it's

 2        kind of interesting to come to a situation where

 3        you're now fast tracking a permit also to do the

 4        bidding of another corporation.  Shame on you. 

 5                I call on the working people who are

 6        indeed desperate and mistreated and misused and

 7        manipulated by projects like this to look at a

 8        little bit of history.  This is a 30-year

 9        phenomenon, folks.  It's the jobs versus

10        environment graymail blackmail game where they

11        divide people.  They make environmentalists pit

12        themselves against workers.  We all breathe and

13        will have to breathe from the same atmosphere if

14        this plant is built. 

15                I want to know what baseline survey the

16        company has indicated to you they intend to

17        perform of their workforce before the plant opens. 

18        I want to know about the baseline public health

19        analyses the company proposes to do of the Harbor

20        View and Oregon communities before the plant

21        opens.  We look for leadership from our

22        government, not a permitting mill. 

23                This is a real jobs package, folks, but

24        they only discuss the sunshine jobs.  They

25        discussed the $50,000 a year -- incidentally, I

0052

 1        haven't -- I haven't heard any company officials

 2        speak on their own behalf tonight, and I haven't

 3        heard from organized labor announcing that the

 4        company has committed to unionize the plant. 

 5        There's a lot of things beyond just granting a

 6        stapled together wad of paper that says you get to

 7        permit -- you get to pollute our commons. 

 8                I don't know the identities of these

 9        corporate folks behind this either.  My

10        understanding is that this may be a much larger,

11        more diverse, and perhaps more polluting project

12        than anyone currently knows publicly, but I can

13        guarantee you that the people who are profiting

14        are not going to be living here breathing the air

15        from that. 

16                The jobs aren't just production jobs at a

17        coking facility or Chessie system or truckers. 

18        The jobs will also in this area -- there will be

19        an increase in Hospice workers, there will be an

20        increase in respiratory therapists and people who

21        treat allergies and emphysema, but we don't know

22        any specific statistics about that because the

23        unknown company will get to pollute into the great

24        void.  They will get to pollute into our commons,

25        and that is wrong, and corporations owe us

0053

 1        transparency, they owe us truth, honesty, and

 2        data. 

 3                I've got a couple of questions that I want

 4        to leave for the record.  I'd just like to point

 5        out they only talk about the sunshine, the plums,

 6        all of the great benefits.  They don't talk and

 7        you haven't talked about what I understand, and

 8        I'm not an engineer, but I understand that this

 9        system, like most smokestack systems, has an

10        override, has a bypass, and that for a certain

11        number of days in your pollution permit, in your

12        permission, your grant of permission to allow them

13        to poison the air, there's also going to be a

14        certain number of days per year when they get

15        because of production reasons or having to take

16        one of the beds out of service or something, they

17        get to push a few buttons, turn a few valves and

18        bypass whatever state of the art or so-called

19        state of the art equipment is there, so let's talk

20        about that.  That's one of the questions. 

21                Another question I have is I look at these

22        excerpts, these pages obviously from the

23        application or the permit or the proposed permit,

24        and there's numbers crossed out and new numbers

25        added, and it says new modeling done.  How can you

0054

 1        expect the public to meaningfully understand the

 2        scope of the project, understand the scope of the

 3        poisons that the community is expected to uptake

 4        without knowing what's really going to happen? 

 5        And my question is is there another set of numbers

 6        that really becomes effective on June 16th after

 7        the permit's granted? 

 8                You know, when you make a deal with the

 9        devil, you should not be surprised after you've

10        invited him to the table that he spits in the

11        mashed potatoes.  I oppose this project.  I call

12        upon people to band together and demand a good

13        deal better than we are getting.  There are other

14        industries that could be attracted by the -- by

15        the features of this splendid area.  There are --

16        there are smokestack industries that don't have to

17        be dirty ones.  We could have a much better deal. 

18                I object to the fast tracking, I object to

19        the spurious reasons for it, and by damn I object

20        to your not caring enough to find out who is

21        behind this to tell your citizenry.

22        MS. MCCARRON:          Robert Lynn, Junior. 

23        MR. LYNN:              Good evening.  My last name

24        is spelled L-y-n-n.  I've been listening to a lot

25        of things that have been going on here tonight.  I

0055

 1        too am a resident of Oregon, grew up here, I

 2        should say I went to high school here and have

 3        been around here since high school. 

 4                There are some real concerns that the

 5        citizens have here, and I listened to what they

 6        say, and the fast tracking, when you look at it,

 7        kind of does raise some light or some question,

 8        but the thing I guess which is something that we

 9        really must do, it appears to me that you put it

10        on a fast track, you did everything to make sure

11        that nothing was stopped, but my concerns with

12        what Terry was saying here is that we want to make

13        sure that we hold some of the other people more

14        accountable, such as Toledo Edison, et cetera, to

15        be able to make sure that the EPA does not just

16        grant permits to new facilities. 

17                I would say that this is a balancing act

18        that we have here.  We have to be able to balance

19        new construction here, which we desperately need. 

20        We need to build this plant.  We need to continue

21        to get businesses to this area.  At the same time,

22        we have to make sure that we make sure all the Is

23        are dotted and the Ts are crossed. 

24                My real concern would have to be with when

25        permits -- with the five-year permit after this is

0056

 1        done, whether it would be reviewed properly.  I

 2        would encourage that the Ohio EPA go and make sure

 3        that they evaluate how they do this process.  It's

 4        an important thing to all of us that are here. 

 5        That too would create jobs in order to make sure

 6        that a facility is up to standards so that we can

 7        breathe clean air.  We need that type of

 8        technology.  We need that kind of community to be

 9        able to do it. 

10                Every one of us came in an automobile,

11        SUV, car, truck, something like that.  It's a fact

12        that most smog in most metropolitan areas, 60

13        percent of it is attributed to cars, and yet we're

14        not riding horses.  We're going to continue to

15        have these kinds of new technologies coming in,

16        and I think it's very important that not only do

17        we demand that this new U.S. Coke plant have the

18        state of the art but they are held their feet to

19        the fire as well as the rest of the community

20        citizens, corporate citizens in this community to

21        make sure that they too are upholding what is

22        important to the citizens of Oregon.  Thank you

23        very much.

24        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  James Hartung.

25        MR. HARTUNG:          Distinguished members of the

0057

 1        hearing panel, ladies and gentlemen, my name is

 2        James Hartung, that's H-a-r-t-u-n-g.  I'm the

 3        president and CEO of the Toledo Lucas County Port

 4        Authority. 

 5                The new facility being discussed this

 6        evening will be located on Port Authority property

 7        in an area that we refer to as facility two.  The

 8        construction of a new coking facility represents a

 9        major opportunity for this region that we can ill

10        afford to lose.  Recent world events and global

11        market conditions have highlighted the fact that

12        the United States does not produce sufficient

13        quantities of the raw materials necessary to allow

14        many of our primary industries to be competitive

15        within a global marketplace. 

16                However, new environmental technologies

17        and production economics are such that domestic

18        production of coke can again be a viable

19        alternative to the current dangerous overreliance

20        on foreign suppliers who can shut down American

21        industry by merely shutting off the supply of raw

22        materials.

23                Coke is an integral part of a planned

24        movement back to American self-reliance and will

25        again be produced domestically.  What we are here

0058

 1        discussing this evening is simply where that

 2        production will occur and by extension where will

 3        the jobs, the local government revenue, and

 4        related economic impact take place. 

 5                Additionally, we have an opportunity to

 6        return to productive use land that is currently

 7        contaminated.  There are hundreds, thousands of

 8        brownfield acres in Lucas County.  They sit idle

 9        while new plants are built on pristine greenfields

10        in Ohio and across the country.  In Lucas County

11        even our available green space is becoming scarce. 

12        This is a rare opportunity to put brownfields back

13        into productive use, create jobs, and stimulate

14        commerce.  We have the opportunity to increase

15        international and domestic shipping through the

16        port of Toledo. 

17                Coke is a scarce commodity and is

18        considered a strategic commodity to any industrial

19        based economy.  By locating this plant at the port

20        of Toledo we will dramatically increase shipping

21        of coal into the port and we will add coke to the

22        export cargo profile of this port.  Increased

23        shipping represents increased revenue for the

24        community and enhances Toledo's identity as a

25        transportation and distribution hub. 

0059

 1                Equally important and a point that has

 2        been made several times this evening is the

 3        creation of jobs.  Lucas County, northwest Ohio

 4        can ill afford to turn away jobs, especially high

 5        paying industrial jobs and the scores of

 6        construction jobs that this project will generate. 

 7        This plant will create 165 full-time family wage

 8        permanent jobs and up to 1,000 construction jobs. 

 9                There have been some thought provoking

10        questions asked regarding the level and the nature

11        of pollutants.  As the owner of the property in

12        question, the Port Authority is satisfied that the

13        technology employed by U.S. Coking to protect the

14        environment and minimize pollutants is the best

15        available, state of the art technology.  The

16        technology they plan to use allows them to meet

17        current air standards.  They have demonstrated to

18        us in countless numbers of meetings and

19        discussions and the passage of paper and studies

20        that they will be responsible stewards of the

21        environment.  As their prospective landlord, I'm

22        pleased with the steps they've taken to protect

23        the environment and look forward to having them as

24        a tenant of the port of Toledo and the Toledo

25        Lucas County Port Authority. 

0060

 1                Members of the review panel, please accept

 2        this testimony as the support of the Toledo Lucas

 3        County Port Authority for the issuance of this

 4        permit.  Thank you very much.

 5        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Tom Latcham.

 6        MR. LATCHAM:          Good evening.  My name is

 7        Tom Latcham.  Latcham is spelled L-a-t-c-h-a-m. 

 8        I'm currently at Rudolph/Libbe Companies, which

 9        consists of Rudolph Libbe Construction and GEM

10        Industrial, a mechanical electrical contractor. 

11        We are one of the largest multi-trade contractors

12        in northwest Ohio, and I'm simply here to support

13        this effort and commend you for your efforts. 

14                We don't employ as many as we used to.  I

15        won't be redundant on the numbers.  There's some

16        here that know the numbers better than I.  In my

17        previous capacity in the economic development

18        community for 11 years in northwest Ohio, I know

19        many of the players in this game.  I know the

20        great team effort it's taken to bring this project

21        to this point and again would like to simply

22        support it and give you a pat on the back in

23        advance.  Thank you very much.

24        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  John Hall,

25        John C. Hall.

0061

 1        MR. HALL:             John Hall, H-a-l-l, I'm a

 2        resident, I live fairly close to where the plant

 3        will be, as well as a representative of Oregon

 4        City Schools as their superintendent. 

 5                I think it was Voltaire that said I may

 6        disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the

 7        death your right to say it.  This truly is an

 8        example of democracy in action tonight.  We

 9        appreciate you being here and giving us this

10        opportunity, but I think we need to remember it's

11        not a true democracy that we're in.  We're in a

12        republic form of government which is a

13        representative democracy, and I can recall last

14        November a good many elections in which our city

15        council representatives were running on platforms

16        of bringing jobs to the area, bringing business to

17        the area, and a good many of those folks were

18        elected with that platform, and they're doing

19        exactly what the voters elected them to do. 

20                They have a vested interest.  Many of them

21        spoke tonight saying they had a vested interest in

22        this community.  They're not going to leave,

23        they're going to be here.  I think that the people

24        in this community, my experience as superintendent

25        the last two years is they certainly do make sure

0062

 1        that you follow through with what you tell them

 2        you're going to follow through with.  I've seen

 3        that at board meetings.  I've had calls from

 4        residents making sure that we follow the promises

 5        that our school district has advertised when we

 6        run campaigns and so forth, so I want you to know

 7        that I speak in support of the new facility. 

 8                I have faith that our city officials are

 9        going to do the research, they're going to be

10        involved, not only as the plant goes up but after. 

11        I do sympathize and empathize with people in the

12        area, including our family, that sometimes when

13        the neighboring plants aren't doing what they're

14        supposed to be doing, and I trust that the EPA

15        will hear those voices as well tonight and do your

16        research and make sure that those things are as

17        they should be. 

18                Much has been said about the tax base, the

19        number of jobs.  As I was in Columbus this week to

20        various school meetings, I talked to school

21        officials around the state.  The residents of

22        Oregon realize that our tax base, the amount of

23        mills that we have on, that the people support are

24        far fewer than most of the districtsif not all

25        the districts around us.  Because of the support

0063

 1        of our people at the ballot box and because of the

 2        tremendous support of our business partners, we

 3        are in a unique position in regards to schools

 4        around the state, not a position that makes us

 5        totally flush, not a position that can do without

 6        such an impact as this company would bring to us. 

 7        That won't happen until the State of Ohio fully

 8        reviews their funding process for schools.  Our

 9        five-year forecast is tight.  A plant of this

10        nature can help extend the amount of time in

11        between ballot issues, and again, I support this

12        project.

13        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Dean Monske.

14        MR. MONSKE:           Good evening.  Dean Monske,

15        M-o-n-s-k-e.  Thank you for getting the

16        pronunciation right.  I am the director of the

17        Oregon Economic Development Foundation.  We are a

18        public/private partnership between the City of

19        Oregon and over 100 business members, both inside

20        and outside the city.  We have personally been

21        working on this project for over a year and a

22        half, and most certainly our organization strongly

23        supports this project. 

24                I am also here tonight, I am president of

25        NORED.  NORED is the Northwest Ohio Regional

0064

 1        Economic Development Association.  We are the

 2        group comprised of the 11 counties in northwest

 3        Ohio, and certainly the majority of those members

 4        over the last couple of weeks have called me to

 5        express their very strong support of this project

 6        simply because they know the economic benefits

 7        that have been talked about here this morning, not

 8        just for the City of Oregon and the City of Toledo

 9        but most certainly for northwest Ohio. 

10                That was going to be the extent of my

11        comments, but because of some things that were

12        said tonight, I do want to add one thing

13        specifically for some of the citizens here.  We

14        are currently -- at the Economic Development

15        Foundation we're currently working on somewhere in

16        the vicinity of two dozen industrial projects here

17        in the community of Oregon.  One specifically that

18        was just accomplished and is still not quite

19        official, if you will, by name but many people

20        have read about a manufacturing facility of a

21        medical nature which is now official which will be

22        bringing 220-some jobs to this community with no

23        environmental issues whatsoever.  Many of the

24        projects we're currently working on are of that

25        magnitude and larger in that same boat that do not

0065

 1        have environmental concerns. 

 2                So as strongly as we do support this

 3        project, as much as we believe in the technology

 4        and all that's been said this evening, we are

 5        certainly dealing with a great deal more projects

 6        that do not have these concerns, so, please, to

 7        the citizens, I would like to say to you that

 8        no -- this is not the, in your words, best we can

 9        do, do we have to trade environment for jobs. 

10        This community, the city at large from the mayor

11        and council members on down with this organization

12        are indeed working on those types of projects that

13        we will not be in a room like this talking about

14        these issues. 

15                So I do want to make clear as well that

16        this community strongly supports good jobs that we

17        can all be happy over and we do not have these

18        discussions, but, once more, we do strongly

19        support this and thank the Ohio EPA for being here

20        this evening.  Thank you

21        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Leo Depinet. 

22        AUDIENCE:             He left.

23        MS. MCCARRON:         He left?  He's not in the

24        hallway?  Bill Lorenzen.

25        MR. LORENZEN:         Hello.  I'm Bill Lorenzen,

0066

 1        L-o-r-e-n-z-e-n.  I am a commercial real estate

 2        broker, and I have been dealing with the Oregon/

 3        Toledo community for 28 years now. 

 4                We have seen a lot of industry go by the

 5        wayside.  As a kid, I can remember seeing

 6        Interlake Iron, Toledo Coke, which was very, very

 7        filthy facilities.  They created jobs.  People

 8        needed those jobs at that time just like they need

 9        them right now, and the pollution standards and

10        stuff were not in effect as they are today, so the

11        people that know that, today they know better, and

12        that the facility -- my understanding of the new

13        facility that's going to be built is going to be

14        state of the art and is going to have to meet very

15        many stringent regulations. 

16                There was -- when I first had heard about

17        this, and it's been almost two years ago, that it

18        was spoken of that there was a possibility, the

19        first thing that does come to mind and which other

20        people have said was the coppers of Toledo Coke,

21        and the -- and as you go through and you hear more

22        of this stuff, and I know that the EPA is more

23        stringent than they ever were, I mean, I've had to

24        come before issues with the EPA, and, you know,

25        and it's kind of like you want to lock yourself in

0067

 1        a closet because you think that they're going to

 2        put you in jail for pollutants, we have out in

 3        the -- it's not only Harbor View but there's the

 4        surrounding area of Harbor View too that is right

 5        in that general area of major industry. 

 6                Interlake is gone.  Toledo Coke is gone. 

 7        I own the former Phillips Petroleum site at

 8        Millard and Front.  They made carbon black there. 

 9        A lot of the industries that were out there that

10        polluted are gone.  So you get industry -- I

11        figured when I bought that property in 1987 that

12        it was great industrial ground, that you would be

13        able to lease or sell that property for new jobs,

14        and what has happened is that there is no jobs

15        coming in. 

16                You have a great workforce right now

17        with -- for the past quite a few years that the

18        new people that have been involved with the Port

19        Authority have been willing to work with the

20        community and been good neighbors.  You have

21        Oregon and Toledo working together to get

22        industry, because even if they don't want to deal

23        with each other, they have to.  We need jobs,

24        everybody needs jobs, not just -- if Oregon has

25        businesses that it will affect Toledo.  If Toledo

0068

 1        has businesses it will affect Oregon. 

 2                There's this plant, I'm definitely in

 3        support of it as far as for economic reasons. 

 4        Where it's going to be located is, you know, I

 5        think a good area for it.  What I want to -- my

 6        sister-in-law is in the audience, and she was

 7        taking around a petition against the thing, and I

 8        love Kerry very much, but I wouldn't support her

 9        on it, and -- but I would like to say that this

10        crowd here, that for or against this plant, has

11        been a great crowd tonight, you guys.  All of you,

12        because everybody has a right to their opinion,

13        and I think the majority of the people here, that

14        if they don't know that, they're not just beating

15        up on everybody.  The councilpeople that are in

16        support of it or anybody that's in support of it,

17        they are listening, because they're trying to get

18        educated. 

19                They want the jobs, all these people want

20        the jobs, for or against it, they want the jobs,

21        and so the Port Authority's not there just saying

22        well, I'm going to collect rent as the landlord. 

23        And by the way, even though I'm a real estate

24        broker, I have nothing to do with this deal at

25        all, I'm not making any money on it, so -- but I

0069

 1        have brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws that live

 2        over outside the Harbor View area, the streets

 3        surrounding that.  Do I want to see them -- their

 4        health be affected or anybody else there?  No.  I

 5        mean, actually, I like my in-laws, so the majority

 6        of them have not -- have not objected to it. 

 7        They've said if -- you know, if you're going to

 8        prove to them that the technology is good over

 9        there and that it's -- they're going to be a good

10        neighbor, that's what they want.  They want the

11        jobs, but they also want to be a good neighbor. 

12        And, you know, and this -- I do not know enough

13        about this plant to say they're not going to

14        pollute.  I mean, that's you guys' job. 

15                Mike Sheehy spoke of, you know, him going

16        into Toledo Coke and the amount of -- you know,

17        being ankle deep in the stuff.  You know, we used

18        to as kids try to steal pig iron to scrap it to

19        get candy money, and it was filth.  Today's

20        technology is not going to allow you to do that,

21        it's just not going to, and you guys even, if you

22        were being paid off, you could not allow the

23        things to happen that used to happen, you know, in

24        our father's or grandfather's days. 

25                So I think that like with Mike, Mike is

0070

 1        adamant about smoking, and so I think if he felt

 2        that the -- that it was going to be harmful to the

 3        community, I'm sure he did do his research,

 4        because I think Mike was probably looking for a

 5        reason to prove that it was going to be bad for

 6        the community, and if it was, he would be against

 7        it, so I think that I'm sure that he has done his

 8        homework, and there's a lot of people that I trust

 9        that are involved with this thing that do not want

10        to ruin their community either, they live in the

11        community, their kids, their grandkids, so I --

12        you know, I just hope that if the people that are

13        opposed to it, if they have some information

14        that's going to show that it's harmful to the

15        people, bring it forward, because I'm sure that

16        everybody that's been for this plant, if there --

17        if it's going to be -- if they can prove that

18        there is -- it's going to be hazardous to people's

19        health, then they will not support it.

20        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you. 

21        AUDIENCE:             Point of order, I think we

22        need a new time keeper.

23        MS. MCCARRON:         Sandy Bihn.

24        MS. BIHN:             Sandy Bihn, B-i-h-n.  I find

25        it really difficult to be here this evening, and,

0071

 1        you know, I think everyone in here can agree that

 2        we all want jobs and we all want economic

 3        development and we all want a clean environment. 

 4        I don't think there's any disagreement on that

 5        point by any of us. 

 6                I think how we come here and the way we do

 7        our research and our homework varies, but I want

 8        to talk about about five years ago when I was with

 9        the city.  We had a project, a big project, it was

10        the B.P. update renovation where they took the --

11        what is it -- the crude from Canada and the heavy

12        crude from Canada and piped it in here, and they

13        wanted the community's support, and myself and a

14        lot of other people provided that supported

15        whole-heartedly, and the spin over that project

16        was the Toledo Edison project where they took the

17        crude and produced additional power, and it

18        sounded like a great project, and so we all

19        endorsed it and came together. 

20                And there was one area that didn't support

21        it, actually, I didn't find out about that until

22        just recently, but the Harbor View area objected

23        to that permit and actually hired people to do

24        research and to look at ways that -- I think the

25        B.P. project actually was improved by it, because

0072

 1        whenever we have dissenting opinions and we can

 2        give good, you know, comments in terms of how to

 3        make it better, it's better for all of us, we all

 4        benefit from that, but the Toledo Edison project

 5        is something different and I think something that

 6        we should all be ashamed of because I don't think

 7        any of us have addressed the needs of the people

 8        in Harbor View. 

 9                Their houses shake.  A lady talked about

10        her foundation giving way from an incident that

11        happened I think it was February 7th at 4:30. 

12        There's something wrong with the design of that

13        facility, and, you know, we hear about it over and

14        over again that, you know, they made three ovens

15        and should have made one or made one and it should

16        have been three and they tried something new and

17        it just didn't work. 

18                Well, EPA reviewed that and looked at it

19        and approved it, and now when they have problems

20        and things shake and it's swept off the streets

21        every day and they come to you and they ask you

22        for help, EPA doesn't help them, the City of

23        Oregon doesn't help them, the county doesn't help

24        them.  No one helps them.  They just turn their

25        backs. 

0073

 1                You know, we talk about accountability and

 2        if we're going to have accountability in these

 3        problems when they're done.  There is a good

 4        example of a project that's gone astray and

 5        something has to happen in terms of addressing it,

 6        and everybody here should be behind those people

 7        in trying to resolve it. 

 8                Comments on -- also they have a Taconite

 9        facility which is not owned by the Port Authority,

10        and the red dust blows on the boats and homes on a

11        regular basis.  We need to respect each other as a

12        community and respect each other's lives and

13        families. 

14                As far as this permit, they talk about BAT

15        technology, best available technology, and this

16        company, I think what surprises me with this is

17        usually a company will come in and they'll say

18        we'll do everything we can to make this the very

19        best permit we possibly can.  I find it difficult

20        to understand why a community would try to beat

21        the June 15 deadline when the Lung Association

22        tells us that's a deadline that's necessary for

23        our breathing and our well-being and our health,

24        yet people here support beating that deadline just

25        because it's the right thing to do, and if the

0074

 1        company's so good, why can't they meet the new

 2        requirements after June 15th, I don't understand. 

 3                And as for the best available technology,

 4        this company has hired a high priced law firm out

 5        of Chicago.  Frank Lyons, the former USEPA

 6        Region 5 director, is the contact person for the

 7        U.S. Coking Group, and he argues all the time with

 8        you folks about best available technology, and one

 9        of the ways to get around best available

10        technology is to say it's too expensive, we're not

11        going to do it, and any number of times in this

12        permitting process that continues to happen as we

13        speak, so it isn't the best available technology,

14        it's the best available technology if we think

15        it's economically feasible. 

16                I'm not talking technology that hasn't

17        been added someplace else and been done somewhere

18        else before.  I'm talking about best available

19        technology.  If this is going to go to the limit

20        and protect our health, then we ought to do that. 

21                I'd also like to say Ohio does not have a

22        mercury standard.  It should have a mercury

23        standard, and this plant does emit mercury into

24        the air and will affect the Great Lakes and the

25        problem we're having in the Great Lakes. 

0075

 1                The process in this, whether you agree or

 2        disagree, has not been good.  You have a change in

 3        the permit this evening.  There is a requirement

 4        in law that says you have to have a completed

 5        application and that application should be

 6        available for public review and comment.  The

 7        application to me is not complete until tonight. 

 8        From this point forward it's 30 days that we get

 9        to review it and look at it and see if it's best

10        available technology, see if what you're saying is

11        true, have the checks and balances that we're

12        supposed to have.  You're denying us the right to

13        do that. 

14                I think, quite frankly, folks, by doing

15        the overtime and doing the things the way that it

16        was done here to beat the June 15th deadline --

17        you know, you're the director of the air division. 

18        Ohio EPA writes a letter on November 26 to the

19        company and says hey, we'll do everything we can

20        to help you get this permit through, here's how to

21        get around the guidelines so we don't have to get

22        the new requirements that the American Lung

23        Association fought so hard for all of us to have,

24        let's do that, so then the Ohio EPA advocates for

25        this permit. 

0076

 1                If you're going to be objective -- is

 2        there any of us here today that believe that Ohio

 3        EPA is going to deny this permit?  I'm sorry, but

 4        it just isn't in the cards.  I don't think any

 5        comment we can give you will result in that, and

 6        that's just wrong.   

 7                I would like to say that there's a

 8        community in Vansant, Virginia that's been cited

 9        in the paper, and I called and talked to the

10        people in Vansant and around the area, and indeed

11        this coke plant is accepted and liked in the

12        community.  It's located in a valley in a rural

13        area where there's 1,000 people.  The closest air

14        monitor is 200 miles away or something, it's hours

15        in driving time they said away, so it's not even

16        close, so that area's clean to start with, so this

17        plant there is okay, and if we only had this

18        source here, perhaps this would be okay, but this

19        is combined with other sources. 

20                I changed the order of my comments, and I

21        apologize for that, because I know everybody's

22        tired.

23        AUDIENCE:        Seven minutes.

24        MS. BIHN:        I guess I will close with saying

25        that we think the comment period has to be

0077

 1        extended, the thirty days, because of the

 2        incomplete application.  We have comments that

 3        will be coming from others that will be technical

 4        on the permit, but this -- if you really want us

 5        to get a complete review and have a fair

 6        opportunity, then I think you owe it to us to give

 7        us more time.  You tell us that this permit is

 8        complicated for you to do, it's also complicated

 9        for us to review, and it's just not fair in trying

10        to push it in a short period of time, and if you

11        want to know if there's something wrong, then give

12        us the opportunity to look, and if it's not there,

13        it's not there, but if it is there and you deny us

14        the time to find it and then someday we have a

15        Toledo Edison problem that we do have today,

16        folks, you know, we're all going to be sorry that

17        we didn't spend more time to do the right thing. 

18        Thank you.

19        MS. MCCARRON:          Thank you, Sandy.  Doug

20        Joyce.

21        MS. MCCARRON:          Thank you.  Doug Joyce,

22        J-o-y-c-e.  I live on Lakeview Avenue, up -- that

23        is just to the east of the plant, and it is where

24        the wind will be blowing towards.  I'd like to ask

25        the questions I guess that we can put on the

0078

 1        record that you can answer. 

 2                I've seen a table, and I preface this

 3        first, I think, to a person in the room, everyone

 4        has said that the old coke plant on Front Street

 5        down there was awful, it was terrible, it emitted

 6        toxins, it was dirty, it was filthy.  I think to a

 7        person in the room, I've seen a table that

 8        indicates that the new plant will emit three times

 9        as much pollutants as the old plant.  Is that

10        correct? 

11                Also, in the permit it was listed some

12        power plants.  I'm not exactly sure why the power

13        plants were listed in the permit.  I'd like to

14        know why.  Does this permit allow them to put

15        other facilities in along with the coke plant in

16        that area?  At present there appears to only be

17        three air monitoring devices in the Toledo area. 

18        I believe there's one at Collins Park, which may

19        be at the Toledo water plant, I think there's one

20        at Friendship Park shelter, which is up in the

21        Point Place area, and I think there's one at 348

22        South Erie Street, which may be your offices.  Is

23        that correct?  Would it be a possibility of

24        getting another air monitoring device here in the

25        Oregon area that may be east of both Toledo

0079

 1        Edison, B.P., and the new plant if it comes in? 

 2                I'd also at this time like to possibly

 3        address the Oregon council as they've come up and

 4        talked.  I know as it proceeds legislation will

 5        appear before the City of Oregon for different

 6        parts of this multi-million dollar project. 

 7        Incidentally, it started at 200 million.  It's up

 8        to 350 million now if you follow the paper.  Maybe

 9        if you guys would have gone a little slower, we'd

10        be up to 500, 600 million.  We could add a little

11        more project. 

12                Anyways, I'd like to ask the council when

13        they do legislation on this not to do it as an

14        emergency, to give the residents time to look at

15        the project, to look at what they're doing. 

16        They're going to have to put in water lines. 

17        They're going to have to put in sanitary sewer

18        lines, storm sewers, road improvements.  I ask

19        before we spend this money that we do not do it in

20        an emergency way. 

21                I think one of the reasons for this,

22        because Mike Sheehy mentioned in the paper that he

23        was satisfied that they -- this is a quote -- he's

24        satisfied that they, meaning I presume the company

25        operating the coke plant, would be a very

0080

 1        environmentally responsible and welcome member of

 2        the community.  We have noticed tonight we don't

 3        even know who these people are.  How can you make

 4        a statement like that when you don't know who they

 5        are? 

 6                Maybe if Mr. Sheehy had more time, maybe

 7        if he would have been able to have more

 8        information from the city administration, he could

 9        have found out who they were.  Just today we had

10        conversation about the December rules.  The

11        article written by Tom Menry talked about the new

12        rules on the diesel.  Their going to help the

13        ground level ozone that we're out of compliance

14        with.  It goes on to say several urban areas

15        including Toledo are expected to be designated out

16        of compliance for particulate.  I think that's

17        what we're talking about, the June 15th date. 

18                Also, ending in the quote it said those,

19        meaning the urban areas out of compliance, unable

20        to meet the criteria for pollutant thresholds must

21        work with their state environmental agencies on

22        plans for getting back into compliance.  Well,

23        this is a question to you folks.  Will the

24        building of this coke plant help us to get back

25        into compliance with those standards?  Thank you.

0081

 1        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  James Manning.

 2        MR. MANNING:          James Manning,

 3        M-a-n-n-i-n-g, and like I stated in the question

 4        and answer period, there will be a little

 5        repetition here, I guess. 

 6                From what I've heard so far in testimony,

 7        the people that are for this are either from the

 8        government or they seem to be from mostly the

 9        building trades, and I sympathize with people that

10        are looking for jobs.  My kid's out of work right

11        now.  He's got a wife and two kids to support. 

12        He's 40 percent disabled from military action.  I

13        know jobs are tough to get, but when we're looking

14        at these building trades, these are temporary

15        jobs.  As soon as the plant's built, they're gone,

16        so they're no longer any benefit to the city. 

17                I guess what I'm really upset about is the

18        way you people pushed this through to deliberately

19        beat the deadline for stricter controls, and I

20        guess I'm ashamed of my city councilman and my

21        mayor for not raising the red flag and saying hey,

22        yes, we want the jobs, we want the industry, but

23        hey, let's cool it and let's meet the new

24        standards, and I really hold that against them,

25        and I'm ashamed I voted for some of you. 

0082

 1                Now, I got a couple questions that I've

 2        already stated, but for the record, since the EPA

 3        is notorious for being lax at processing their

 4        permits, why the hurry to rush this one through,

 5        paying overtime, working overtime, spending a lot

 6        of taxpayers' dollars just to beat the deadline? 

 7        Why if your mandate is protection of the

 8        environment would this agency by doing this

 9        expediting in effect generate pollution? 

10                I got to tell you, the first possibility

11        that comes to my mind is somebody got paid off. 

12        Somebody got bought off.  It may not be the EPA. 

13        It may be up in the political structure somewhere,

14        somebody who has the authority to dictate to you

15        people.  Somewhere in Columbus, maybe Washington,

16        I don't know.  This is the first thing that jumps

17        out to me.  It's almost like wow, it's obvious,

18        why would they do this, why would they rush this

19        through, why would they create more pollution, go

20        against their mandate, do the exact opposite thing

21        they're supposed to do?  I don't know.  That's the

22        first thing I can come up with. 

23                Actually, you know, if somebody wasn't

24        paid off and you ran this through and you

25        jeopardized my health, that's even worse.  That

0083

 1        means you didn't even have a reason to do it, you

 2        just did it, you just don't care.  I mean, how

 3        else am I supposed to interpret that? 

 4                And as far as the economics, that's all

 5        we've heard, economics from our council, from the

 6        mayor, from whatever, and I don't know what --

 7        like I stated before, I don't know what the

 8        corporate tax structure is on this.  I don't know

 9        how much money that's going to generate.  I don't

10        know what -- well, let's face -- first of all,

11        let's face it, there's probably tax abatements

12        going to be worked into this, and, you know, the

13        top dogs in the corporations, they're paying

14        thousands of dollars to lawyers to figure out how

15        to beat their taxes. 

16                But just rounding off some figures, if

17        they hire 150 people, permanent jobs after the

18        construction's done, and they pay them $50,000 a

19        year, there probably won't even be that much,

20        you're going to wind up generating seven and a

21        half million dollars in payroll.  The tax

22        structure in Toledo and Oregon is two and a

23        quarter percent.  That means that you're -- that

24        it's going to generate 160-some thousand dollars

25        in payroll taxes.  You got 350 --

0084

 1        AUDIENCE:             Time's up.

 2        MR. MANNING:          Somebody wants to speak

 3        while I'm speaking? 

 4        AUDIENCE:             Time's up.  You're in

 5        somebody else's five minutes.

 6        MS. MCCARRON:          You got about 20 more

 7        seconds.

 8        MR. MANNING:          Tough shit.  I got 30

 9        because of him.  It's going to work out, if you

10        want to do the math, to 48 cents for every person

11        that lives in this area.  Now, I'd like to see

12        counsel and the mayor tell me what the hell

13        they're going to do for me to benefit my life and

14        my standard of living for 48 cents a year.

15        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you, sir.

16        MR. MANNING:          Okay.  I'll cut it short.  I

17        better not hear anybody else go over five minutes.

18        MS. MCCARRON:         Kerry Berlincourt.

19        MS. BERLINCOURT:      I'm Kerry Berlincourt,

20        B-e-r-l-i-n-c-o-u-r-t.  I live in Petersburg,

21        Michigan, at this time. 

22                In the 13 years I've worked as an oncology

23        nurse at St. Charles Hospital, I've seen numerous

24        Oregon residents diagnosed with cancer, many only

25        35 to 55 years old with no risk factors or history

0085

 1        to explain the cause of their illness.  Just bad

 2        luck?  I don't think so. 

 3                In the eight years I lived on Corduroy

 4        Road in Oregon from 1994 to 2002 seven of my

 5        neighbors on my immediate block were diagnosed

 6        with cancer.  I myself was diagnosed at the age of

 7        38 years old with breast cancer in 2000.  I had no

 8        family history or risk factors except for the

 9        toxic environment that I lived in.  The same year

10        I was diagnosed there were three moms in my son's

11        fifth grade class diagnosed with breast cancer. 

12        You don't need my statistical chart to show that

13        that is a high incidence.  One of my son's

14        classmates's mom's died last year leaving two

15        young boys to miss her. 

16                I've contacted the Ohio Department of

17        Health and have learned they are starting a study

18        on cancer rates in Lucas County and will study

19        each city individually as well.  The information

20        provided to me as you can see from the cancer

21        statistics they have gathered clearly document

22        Lucas County is higher in all cancer sites and

23        higher in 12 specific sites when compared with

24        Ohio.  This is very disturbing when you realize

25        that Ohio cancer rates are already elevated when

0086

 1        compared nationally due to our high industry in

 2        this state.  Lucas County also has a higher death

 3        rate from heart disease, malignant neoplasms,

 4        chronic lower respiratory diseases and

 5        cerebrovascular diseases when compared with Ohio

 6        statistics. 

 7                What will the Department of Health be able

 8        to do when they document an unusually high cancer

 9        rate in Oregon this fall?  Will they shut B.P. or

10        Toledo Edison down?  Will they clean up

11        Envirosafe?  I know these are unrealistic

12        expectations. 

13                The citizens of this city are already at

14        risk with the toxic industry that is here.  The

15        addition of the polluting U.S. Coke plant is too

16        much for the health of these citizens to burden. 

17        I agree we need jobs to keep our economy going but

18        not at the expense of people's lives. The

19        construction jobs would be only a temporary fix

20        for our economy. The long-term jobs would be maybe

21        165 and will not improve our economy. 

22                Going door to door with our petition, I

23        have heard people tell me we all die someday, what

24        difference does it make, more pollution in an

25        already polluted environment.  I wonder if they

0087

 1        will be so amused and indifferent when their

 2        doctor tells them they have cancer and they face

 3        the reality of dying.  It isn't easy to face the

 4        fact that you may not see your children grow up or

 5        be there for their graduation from high school.  I

 6        know.  I've faced this reality.  I sympathize with

 7        all of us who have and especially those who aren't

 8        alive today, their children and families. 

 9                City council is concerned about tax

10        dollars and the economic growth of Oregon.  I ask

11        them to look at the citizens who elected them and

12        consider the health hazards you're imposing on

13        them.  U.S. Coke is not an environmentally

14        friendly industry.  We've learned that already. 

15        If you continue to build new subdivisions and

16        encourage polluting industry as their neighbors,

17        you will have to live with ever-increasing rates

18        of disease in this city.  Is that progress? 

19                If U.S. Coke is not going to be a

20        pollutive industry for this area, why did they

21        need to press so hard to get their permit through

22        before this summer's safer air requirements?  If

23        Oregon City Council really is concerned about

24        citizens' health as you said you are tonight,

25        wouldn't you want the strictest air pollution

0088

 1        regulations to be followed to ensure your

 2        citizens' health?  Are they really using the best

 3        technology available?  I question that when U.S.

 4        Coke would prefer to save untold amounts of money

 5        by beating the stricter air laws coming this June. 

 6                My family and I moved to Michigan in 2002

 7        to get out of the toxic environment of your city. 

 8        I've never regretted our decision to leave.  I now

 9        sleep well at night with the knowledge we are not

10        being exposed to a toxic environment from industry

11        that surrounds us in Oregon.  I encourage you to

12        think about that tonight as you fall asleep

13        surrounded by the pollutants you are encouraging

14        them to expand on in your back yard. 

15                And I also have one question or comment. 

16        For these proceedings is it possible for the next

17        one that citizens could speak first and council

18        could speak last so that there would be more

19        people left to hear our comments seeing as

20        probably a good half of the people are gone now?

21        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Robert Fondessy.

22        MR. FONDESSY:         Thank you very much, members

23        of the EPA investigative group.  I certainly do

24        admire your work, and I certainly do approve of it

25        having known many of you for many years.  I was

0089

 1        one of the original incorporators of the City of

 2        Oregon in 1957.  We heard many of these same

 3        arguments, pros and cons of we don't want to

 4        incorporate but we did, and I'm happy for that. 

 5        I'm also happy for the fact that such a diligent

 6        group is working on it. 

 7                I hope the facility will be built.  I know

 8        it will be closely monitored.  I've been involved

 9        with many of those things, and I favor always the

10        industry base of the community because we did have

11        a very high standard of schools at the time we

12        incorporated, and we have been fortunate enough to

13        maintain that.  I guess the only way we can still

14        maintain it when you're building new homes and so

15        forth is to keep that balance and a peaceful

16        coexistence between industrial base and

17        residential base. 

18                The Port Authority had built on facility

19        number two, and I was a contractor at that time,

20        and that purpose was to build an industrial base

21        where industry could be provided for and service

22        could be given.  At the time of incorporation we

23        had four refineries.  We have two left. 

24        Fortunately B.P. and the Sun still shines on east

25        Toledo with the help and aid of their tax bases. 

0090

 1        We have the railroads, Edison, and many other

 2        plants, and I wanted to make sure that we say

 3        welcome to these people. 

 4                I think we have great leadership in Mayor

 5        Brown and many other councilpeople, and I

 6        certainly want to make a comment saying let us not

 7        have this happen that occurred two years ago with

 8        the Jones Hamilton plant that was run out of town

 9        and went to neighboring Northwood and is existing

10        yet today.  Thank you for your time, and I

11        certainly appreciate your diligence.

12        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Rod Clevenger.

13        MR. CLEVENGER:        Rod Clevenger,

14        C-l-e-v-e-n-g-e-r.  I just have a few thoughts.  I

15        really didn't come here to speak originally, but

16        after listening to everything that's been going

17        on, I felt that I would like to make a few more

18        comments. 

19                Number one, I've lived in Oregon for 35

20        years and on the east side of the river for over

21        40 years, and most of the projects that we see

22        that go in over here are detrimental to the

23        environment.  I've never seen one that did

24        anything good for it.  It doesn't make a whole lot

25        of sense what you're doing. 

0091

 1                Also, listening to the comments that were

 2        made earlier by Mike over there about this not

 3        being economic, your concerns, I've heard nothing

 4        but economic concerns voiced by every person that

 5        spoke in favor of this.  So does that sway you? 

 6        Otherwise, why would they do it? 

 7                Secondly, or third, I sat here and we

 8        talked about this company that we don't know

 9        about, who they are or what they are, about -- but

10        they're responsible.  Well, corporate

11        responsibility in the United States right now is

12        at a pretty low ebb as we've seen, they're not

13        very responsible, and just a good example of when

14        you talk about these tests and ways of keeping

15        track of these people, well, think about Davis

16        Besse.

17        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Suzanne Deck. 

18        Suzanne Deck?  Okay.  John Myers?

19        MR. MYERS:            If -- hold on -- if I've got

20        to trust you, I don't know you, for my kids, what

21        are you going to do to make this better?

22        AUDIENCE:             We can't hear you.  Use the

23        microphone.

24        MS. MCCARRON:         Would you like to use the

25        microphone up front?

0092

 1        MS. BIHN:             Give your name

 2        MR. MYERS:            John Myers, and my kids --

 3        if I have to trust you for my kids, what are you

 4        going to do to make it better?  Just go down the

 5        line. 

 6        AUDIENCE:             They won't answer, Honey,

 7        you just ask the question.  They'll have it in

 8        there.  Just ask the questions.

 9        MR. MYERS:            In this paper it says your

10        pollutants are small particles, sulfur dioxide,

11        nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, lead, VOCs.  For

12        small particles, it says it lodges in your lungs

13        and it can't escape.  That's 835 tons per year

14        sulfur dioxide, that's 100 -- or 1,463 tons per

15        year, nitrogen oxide that's 1,047 tons per year,

16        but with the sulfur dioxide, it affects your

17        breathing and your respiratory.

18        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Joanne

19        Schiavone.

20        MS. SCHIAVONE:        Joanne Schiavone,

21        S-c-h-i-a-v-o-n-e, 215 Meadow Lane, Walbridge,

22        Ohio, 43465.  I'm here to oppose the coke plant

23        for the following.  I was born and raised right by

24        that good old Interlake Iron.  My dad worked there

25        and he died of lung cancer.  He was not a smoker. 

0093

 1        As children we used to run around the neighborhood

 2        and would have these little black sparkling things

 3        all over our bodies, and at night it was good

 4        because then cars could see us.  It's sad when you

 5        have to live in that kind of filth, and that's

 6        what you want for here. 

 7                First of all, I saw the headlines in the

 8        Toledo Blade April 25th stating the following,

 9        State EPA helps rush plan for the local coke

10        plant.  I'm wondering why they even bothered to

11        have this meeting when the deals have been made

12        already.  We've seen it.  We've been there.  We've

13        done it.  This is the very agency that is to

14        protect the citizens from harmful pollutants. 

15        Here it goes again.  Perfect example of how state

16        EPA agency will work with polluters to get them to

17        Ohio. 

18                The proposed facility would discharge more

19        than eight million pounds of pollutants into our

20        air that already is considered too smoggy by

21        upcoming standards.  Is this the reason you all

22        rushed this through?  And I agree with

23        Mr. Hartung, he said current standards.  In the

24        article it said a review of public records and

25        interviews with the official involved showed the

0094

 1        Ohio EPA worked closely with the U.S. Coking Group

 2        to prepare a draft permit for the company's

 3        proposed 200 million dollar facility at Millard

 4        Avenue and Otter Creek Road.  What did you do,

 5        write the permit again for them, using the time

 6        and taxpayer's money? 

 7                The facility to be called the U.S. Coke

 8        Plant, LLC, needed to protect a deadline for the

 9        new smog laws to be feasible.  Officials said by

10        doing this the City of Toledo Environmental

11        Service Division incurred more than $29,000 in

12        overtime costs.  When everyday citizens ask for

13        help from them, they never have the funds. 

14                This proposed coke plant in Oregon would

15        be allowed to release nearly 2.1 million pounds of

16        nitrogen oxide per year and 2.9 million pounds of

17        sulfur dioxide per year into the air according to

18        the draft permit.  The councilpeople, are you

19        going to be ready for those calls in the middle of

20        the night, 24/7 operation from this facility,

21        rotten egg smell?  You're going to get them.  This

22        is totally unacceptable. 

23                Both of these pollutants are lung

24        irritants that cause permanent damage to lungs. 

25        The Toledo area is listed in some study as having

0095

 1        a high incidence of asthma.  I didn't see Mayor

 2        Ford being concerned about that.  It appears that

 3        the elected officials from the City of Oregon and

 4        the City of Toledo are just so happy about this

 5        plant coming here that's going to provide jobs for

 6        us, so they said.  Wow, I'm impressed with their

 7        mentality.  Let's have a bunch of sick residents

 8        for the sake of what, 150 jobs, yes, more jobs for

 9        the health industry, hospitals, and cancer

10        centers. 

11                Now, when you put the plant by the

12        railroad, let's put it by the water lines too. 

13        Just remember, folks, what goes up comes down,

14        yep, right in our drinking water.  And we got

15        Envirosafe, thanks to Mr. Fondessy here.  It

16        sickens me to read that the very agency that was

17        put in place to protect us is actually working for

18        polluters.  Let's hurry up before the ozone

19        designation can be announced.  I guess now it's --

20        first I thought it was April 15th, and now it's

21        June 15th.  Declare air quality in Lucas County

22        and Wood Counties to be in noncompliance with

23        federal standards.  That would make this plant

24        project much more difficult to justify the

25        building.  Isn't this sad? 

0096

 1                This is not legal.  I smell a rat in this

 2        deal.  How can it be safe before June 15 and then

 3        turn around and deem it unsafe after that date? 

 4        Talk about corruption.  Why is this being rushed

 5        before the June 15th deadline?  Is it because it's

 6        unsafe to have it in our community now? 

 7                One more major error on the part of Ohio

 8        EPA.  They have a leaking hazardous waste dump

 9        down the street.  Now let's pollute the air, make

10        sure we get more pollutants into your drinking

11        water.  I think everyone involved in the

12        sweetheart deal should all go to prison.  I think

13        that our USEPA should do a full investigation of

14        this smelly deal. 

15                I have to really laugh about this one,

16        because this public hearing is a big joke.  You

17        already made that agreement and this is a done

18        deal.  This is a done deal.  This public

19        participation, no way.  You never have listened to

20        us in the past.  We've told you that Envirosafe

21        was leaking.  Guess what, it's leaking now.  Now

22        we're looking to put more pollutants in our air

23        and into our water supply.  What was the purpose

24        for this public hearing?  I'd like to know. 

25        That's my question.  What was the purpose of this

0097

 1        public hearing when the deal has been made?  Just

 2        to appease the public.

 3        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you, Joanne.

 4        MS. SCHIAVONE:        One more time, no matter how

 5        we give the facts to the Ohio EPA -- I'm not

 6        done -- we'll turn it all around so it will make

 7        it so the company is doing no wrong.  The dirty

 8        decisions have been made in the back office of the

 9        very agency that's supposed to be protecting us. 

10        This coke plant is harmful to our health and our

11        environment.  You even said it was because you

12        wanted to hurry it up before the ozone regulation. 

13                This permit should be denied for this very

14        reason.  It is one of your drive-through permits. 

15        You know what I'm talking about.  It's like

16        driving through McDonald's and in five minutes you

17        have your meal.  I'd like to know who owns this

18        company.  It should be given to the public.  I

19        shudder to think that Chris Jones, our EPA

20        director, will be making this decision that will

21        affect the quality of our life here.

22        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Carl Stanoyevic.

23        MS. SCHIAVONE:        They have already approved

24        of this.  I don't know what they have to say. 

25        It's a done deal.

0098

 1        MS. MCCARRON:         Joanne --

 2        MS. SCHIAVONE:        I want to go on record and

 3        ask for extension of the comment period because of

 4        the recent change of the permit that was made

 5        May 9th, and I would like one other thing.  I have

 6        just a comment.  I'm not done.  You know,

 7        Mr. Susor talked, and you didn't time him.  He

 8        gave a wonderful speech.

 9        MS. MCCARRON:         He did talk, and we did time

10        him.  He went one and a half minutes over.

11        MS. SCHIAVONE:        Okay.

12        MS. MCCARRON:         And you're over.

13        MS. SCHIAVONE:        When you asked, Mrs. Bihn

14        made a Freedom of Information request for any

15        information that they had on the coke plant on

16        May 8th to the Port Authority, Lucas County, and

17        the City of Oregon.  She asked that the

18        information be expedited because this is such a

19        rush process and everyone has bent over backwards

20        to help the company.  She has yet to receive one

21        document from the port, the county, or the city.

22        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.

23        MS. SCHIAVONE:        Guess what, folks, the

24        permit was permitted.

25        MS. MCCARRON:         Carl Stanoyevic.

0099

 1        MR. STANOYEVIC:       I've already spoken.

 2        MS. MCCARRON:         You spoke, okay.  Julie

 3        Wasserman.

 4        MS. WASSERMAN:        My name is Julie Wasserman,

 5        W-a-s-s-e-r-m-a-n.  I thought it was important to

 6        come here today in order to represent my

 7        generation, which some -- like Councilman Sheehy

 8        and some other people have tried to represent us,

 9        and, yeah, well, we are going to -- it's my

10        generation that is going to be living here 20, 30

11        years from now that are going to be reaping the

12        repercussions of this plant coming here, because

13        it takes a while for cancers to develop.  It's

14        going to be our generation that is going to be

15        affected by this.    

16                I'm currently just finished my second year

17        of study at Miami University.  I'm a zoology major

18        and just finished organic chemistry where I have

19        learned about all of these volatile organic

20        compounds such as benzene and its derivatives.  I

21        have learned what it does to the body.  I think

22        it's horrible. 

23                I can't believe that Oregon, its

24        councilmen and citizens, are so -- they can be so

25        opposed to having a Home Depot rebuilt but are so

0100

 1        excited over this, it disgusts me, and when you

 2        say that the young people -- you want to keep the

 3        young people here for good jobs, well, I will tell

 4        you once I get my medical degree or graduate

 5        degree, I will not -- I will not be coming here to

 6        Oregon to live.  It disgusts me. 

 7                Also, from what -- I don't know if he's

 8        still here -- Mr. Joyce had to say about the chart

 9        that he read about comparing this new coke plant

10        to the -- this one that -- to the old Toledo

11        coking plant, I also saw that chart where besides

12        the volatile organic compounds that will be --

13        that supposedly will be less in this new coking

14        plant, all of the other pollutants such as carbon

15        monoxide, nitrogen oxide and so on will be

16        increased three times. 

17                It saddens me that we want 150 new jobs

18        just so that we -- it's going to hurt our health. 

19        That's all that I have to say.

20        MS. MCCARRON:         Casey Ingram.  I guess

21        Casey's not here.  Ed Schulte.

22        MR. SCHULTE:          Edward Schulte,

23        S-c-h-u-l-t-e.  I'm here as vice-president of the

24        Regional Growth Partnership.  The Regional Growth

25        Partnership supports the air permit application of

0101

 1        the U.S. Coking Group.  The approval of this

 2        permit will allow U.S. Coking Group to move

 3        forward on this plant.  The location of the new

 4        facility is a major investment for the community

 5        of over 300 million dollars.  It will create

 6        approximately 150 direct jobs at the plant and

 7        1,000 construction jobs. 

 8                However, when you look at the whole

 9        project, the ongoing spin-off effect of this is

10        over 350 jobs with an annual income of over

11        $13,000,000.  We understand this is important and

12        we do believe that, but the plant itself must

13        justify itself for environmental conditions. 

14        Operations of the -- at the plant will use the

15        best available technology for minimizing air

16        emissions.  As you've heard, it will be a heat

17        recovery plant which means there will be no

18        negative emissions or other processes associated

19        with traditional coking plants. 

20                It's interesting that of the 300 million

21        dollars plus bill on the plant, approximately 40

22        percent or more of that total construction cost is

23        for the latest available air pollution equipment. 

24                It is our understanding that this permit

25        to install is consistent with one granted by the

0102

 1        Ohio EPA for a similar coking project in southern

 2        Ohio.  The site as you've already heard is a

 3        brownfield site consistently being used as an

 4        industrial site with the infrastructure needed for

 5        this type of facility.  For all of these reasons,

 6        we support the construction of this facility. 

 7        Thank you.

 8        MS. MCCARRON:         Thank you.  Jason LaPorte.

 9        MR. LAPORTE:          Hello.  My name is Jason

10        LaPorte.  That is L-a-P-o-r-t-e.  I'm 19 years

11        old.  I live -- have lived on Brown Road my entire

12        life, which is south of B.P. and to the east of

13        Sun Oil who all have very, very similar emissions

14        as this coking plant will have once it is in

15        operation, and every morning I wake up and drive

16        to the University of Toledo, and I have to smell

17        Sun Oil on my way there, and I get headaches, I

18        get dizzy, I get stomachaches every time I pass

19        there on Navarre Avenue.  Then I get to the other

20        side of town and within an hour my head clears up

21        and I'm fine, I can do my school work fine, and

22        then on the way back home I have to go home and go

23        to sleep because I'm dizzy, I'm nauseated, then I

24        can't even get up and go out to Bayshore Street or

25        Road to hang out with my friends because there's

0103

 1        B.P. out there releasing the same kinds of

 2        emissions as this coking plant will, and you guys

 3        want to put in another -- another factor that's

 4        going to ruin our environment where my kids have

 5        to stay if I do stay here, and if this coking

 6        plant goes in, I will follow in Julie's footsteps

 7        and I will not live here, because you guys are

 8        supposed to be the EPA, supposed to protect the

 9        environment, what is given to us, we didn't ask

10        for it, it was given to us, and you guys put this

11        here and ruin our area and our ground and our

12        water and all of that.

13        MS. MCCARRON:         Rachel Belz.

14        MR. BELZ:             My name is Rachel Belz,

15        B-e-l-z.  I represent Ohio Citizen Action.  I've

16        been working with coking plants in Ohio for the

17        past three years, most notably Middletown, Ohio's

18        AK Steel.  I've been working with the neighbors of

19        Sun Oil with the same pollutants that you're

20        dealing with now.  And I've been to many, many,

21        many of these public hearings.  This is one of the

22        longest I've ever been to.  

23                I will keep my comments brief, but I do

24        want to tell you that so many times when citizens

25        like myself come to a public hearing like this,

0104

 1        we've come through the permits in a short period

 2        of time, we've looked for technology, you know,

 3        technical reasons that we should make changes to

 4        these permits.  It doesn't matter if you're

 5        sitting in the room and if you're for this plant

 6        or against this plant.  There are two things that

 7        need to happen. 

 8                One thing that needs to happen is the

 9        public comment period needs to be extended because

10        the company comment period was obviously extended. 

11        Regardless of what decision you make, and I have a

12        feeling I know what decision you're planning to

13        make, the public has a right to be involved, and

14        fake involvement as somebody pointed out tonight

15        about these sorts of public hearings when the

16        decisions are made just doesn't cut it any more,

17        especially in the times of the corporate

18        responsibility we're supposed to be living in. 

19                Secondly, and I think most importantly,

20        there's one big fat technological change you could

21        make.  Best available control technology today is

22        not what it's going to be in about a month.  I

23        think everybody here regardless of the -- whether

24        you're someone who wants to build this plant or

25        you're someone who doesn't even want this plant, I

0105

 1        think everybody here can understand that if this

 2        plant is to be built, wouldn't you hope, wouldn't

 3        you hope it's planning to be here for 30 years, 50

 4        years, 100 years, who knows, right?  Think of some

 5        of your Oregon businesses, east Toledo businesses. 

 6        They've probably been here for a really long time. 

 7        I'm sure the folks from the economic sectors feel

 8        the same way.  If you're talking about being here

 9        for 30 yea