Energy Company Fined Millions For Pollution Violations

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SunCoke Energy and two subsidiaries will pay a $2 million fine to resolve alleged air pollution violations at plants in Illinois and Ohio.

The agreement between SunCoke Energy and the U.S. Justice Department was announced Wednesday. It requires the companies to spend $100 million to upgrade pollution control equipment. The alleged violations occurred at Gateway Energy and Coke plant in Granite City, Ill., and the Haverhill Coke plant in Franklin Furnace, Ohio.

The companies also agreed to spend $255,000 to help remove lead paint hazards from low-income homes in southern Illinois.

The plants allegedly allowed coke gases to vent directly into the atmosphere, leading to excess heart- and lung-damaging soot emissions. Coke oven emissions also can cause cancer.

Coke is made by "baking" coal, and is used in steel production.