Erie Coke Corporation
City of Erie, Erie County
eFACTS Site ID:
Previous Property Owners and Operators:
Perry Iron Company
Mather and Company
Interlake Iron Company
Perry Furnace Company
Koppers Company, Inc.
Erie Coke Corporation
Erie Coke HSCA Investigation
DEP’s Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields is investigating the former Erie Coke, Inc. in the City of Erie, in accordance with the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA). Periodic updates about this investigation will be posted on this page.
The Erie Coke Site is located along Lake Erie at the foot of East Avenue in the City of Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. The site was used for industrial manufacturing since approximately 1833 and operated as a coke production facility from 1925 to 2019. In December 2019, the facility ceased operation.
In May 2020, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) formally requested involvement from the EPA’s Superfund and Emergency Management Division (Removal). Following a Removal Site Evaluation in July 2020, EPA signed their Action Memo which requested and documented approval of a Time-Critical Removal Action for the site, as well as the necessary funding. In Fall 2020, EPA initiated response actions intended to mitigate the threat posed to the public health and welfare due to the threatened release of hazardous substances from the Site. EPA’s actions are addressing the hazardous substances remaining in tanks, containers and piping posing the most immediate threat to public health, welfare, and the environment.
EPA removal actions will not investigate or manage potential contamination in surface water, soil, and sediment, or subsurface groundwater and soil. As a result, PADEP’s investigation will assess the level and extent of contaminants in these media at the Site. This environmental investigation will include sampling of surface water, soil, sediment, and subsurface groundwater and soil.
= Completed Steps,
= Current Step,
= Next Steps
Response Justification Document
HSCA Notices to Responsible Persons
Scope of Work for Department Contractor
Scoping Meeting on Site with Contractor
Investigation Work Plan Development
Investigation Field Work Activities
Frequently Asked Questions
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The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA), 35 P.S. § 6020.101, et seq., gives the Department the authority to seek reimbursement for public funds spent on Department-funded cleanup actions from persons responsible for releases of hazardous substances. As part of the HSCA process, the Department will be pursuing cost recovery from all known responsible persons.
At this point, the full extent of environmental contamination at the Site has not been determined. The planned investigation will identify the level and extent of contamination at the Site and risks to human health and the environment. This information will assist in determining the potential uses of the Site. The Department is not directly involved in determining who may own or reuse the Site; however, we can assist interested reusers of the property in understanding potential liabilities of the Site and pathways to address those liabilities.
The schedule for reuse is unknown at this time. The planned investigation will identify the level and extent of contamination at the property. This information will assist the Department and any interested parties about potential next steps including additional investigation and/or cleanup remedies.
During the investigation phase of the HSCA process, the Department staff will work directly with the Department-approved contractors in developing a work plan and overseeing investigation activities for identifying the level and extent of contamination at the Site. If the Department takes on cleanup actions following the investigation, there will be formal public input opportunities including public comment period, public meeting, and a public hearing regarding the chosen remedy.
The investigation will be conducted by a Department-approved contractor. HSCA staff will oversee the contractor and review all documents. Initially, the Department will meet on Site with the contractor and discuss the Scope of Work for the project. The contractor will then develop a Work Plan for the Department’s review and approval. Field investigation activities will include the installation of monitoring wells and sampling of surface water, soil, sediment, and subsurface groundwater and soil. There will be at least two rounds of sampling, especially groundwater. The contractor will submit a Data Summary Report and then a Final Report following the completion of all sampling activities.
The contractor’s Work Plan will identify specific sample locations within the Site. Depending on the media sampled, each sample will be analyzed for a wide range of parameters which may include volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, metals, general chemistry, and PCBs.
The contractor’s Work Plan will identify specific sample locations which may include surface water and sediment along the shoreline of Lake Erie. The data will be reviewed for concerns of off-site migration of contamination from the Site to Lake Erie.
Note: In 2019, the Department’s Waterways and Wetlands Program/Office of the Great Lakes investigated water and sediment on Lake Erie in the vicinity of the Site. That information is available for review at the Northwest Regional Office.
The Department’s investigation will focus on the Erie Coke Corporation property (Site). At the completion of the investigation of the Site, the Department will review the Final Report and decide on the next steps of its work, including whether to conduct any additional sampling or cleanup actions.
The Work Plan will be made available as a public document once it is deemed final.
Outside groups can submit information to the Department; however, the Department’s decisions will be based on data collected by the Department’s staff and/or its contractors.
Not necessarily. Although both the Tonawanda Coke facility and the Erie Coke Corporation property shared ownership and produced a similar product, the factual circumstances of the sites, and the laws governing the cleanup and cost recovery activities are different. Therefore, the ultimate outcome of cleanup and cost recovery activities may be different.
Resources and Links
Please direct questions pertaining to the Erie Coke HSCA investigation to DEP Northwest Region HSCA Project Manager Chris Saber, at 814-332-6074 or
All media inquiries should go to DEP Northwest Region Community Relations Coordinator, Tom Decker, at 814-332-6615 or