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AMERICAN COKE INDUSTRY SIGNS HISTORIC ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT

 AMERICAN COKE INDUSTRY SIGNS HISTORIC ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT
 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Culminating a year of negotiations, American metallurgical coke producers today signed an historic environmental agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental groups, state and local air pollution control officials and the steelworkers union.
 Coke-producing members of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute (ACCCI) agreed to comprehensive regulations to implement provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act that established maximum emission limits for the operation of ovens in which coke is made. Some of the negotiated requirements go further than the statute's requirements. Emissions from coke ovens will be reduced by an additional 90 percent from existing levels, which have already been controlled by an earlier 90 percent reduction.
 AISI President Milton Deaner called the agreement "an environmental landmark because of the diversity of interests represented in the negotiation and the breadth of issues that were resolved and, hopefully, represents a new spirit of cooperation between EPA and the industry."
 ACCCI President Mark T. Engle said that "the result is a tribute to the effort of those involved in forging the agreement, including representatives of the administration and members of Congress and their staffs who created the legislation that shaped this negotiation."
 Coke, which is produced by carbonizing bituminous coal, is used mainly as fuel by steelmakers in the reduction of iron ore in blast furnaces and is also used in iron foundries.
 The regulatory package includes numerical performance standards for coke ovens. It also provides for work practices and for monitoring, record-keeping and reporting requirements.
 Among the coke industry's objectives in these negotiations was to establish a comprehensive set of rules that could be clearly understood, while preserving reasonable operational flexibility. The form of the standards and the monitoring requirements set forth in the proposed regulation meet those objectives.
 Deaner noted that, although the industry is pleased that a regulatory package could be agreed to by all parties, the rules will not alleviate the heavy cost impacts or the technical uncertainties that many coke oven operators will face in meeting the emission control requirements.
 He also noted that, because the level of control required has not been proven to be consistently achievable, it is impossible to estimate the total costs of these requirements, but they are certain to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.
 "We are pleased to have been a leader in this successful cooperative effort," Deaner said. "We hope that future interaction of environmentalists, industry, labor and government will lead to informed, prudent policies that recognize the need to balance environmental and economic aspirations. Americans want to improve the environment, but they also want the promise of job opportunities and prosperity. Working together in a reasonable fashion, we can achieve both."
 -0- 10/28/92/1200
 /CONTACT: Jim Hughes of the American Iron and Steel Institute, 202-452-7122, or Mark Engle of the American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute, 202-452-1140/ CO: American Iron and Steel Institute; American Coke and Coal
 Chemicals Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: MNG SU: LEG


DC -- DC003 -- 5850 10/28/92 09:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 1992
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