U.S. Steel to improve pollution control and pay $1.5 million as per recent settlement

BRADDOCK, Pa. — U.S. Steel will be paying $1.5 million in penalties as part of an air pollution violation settlement.

The steel company will pay this sum as a settlement announced Tuesday with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for long-standing pollution violations.

U.S. Steel’s plant in Braddock is the plant accused of breaking numerous parts of the Clean Air Act. According to a press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the plant was producing a pollution level of PM 2.5. Claims against the plant say that particular pollution matter contained microscopic solids or liquid droplets that were small enough to be inhaled. The contents mentioned were reported to be capable of causing health problems in the lungs and potentially even bloodstream.

U.S. Steel agreed that it would make improvements to the plant as a result of the settlement. Improvements will include increased training, monitoring of work practices to increase compliance and timely response to air pollution, and the conduct of studies that will be used to create potential further improvement to pollution control systems.

Some of the penalty funds will help sponsor an environmental project in Allegheny County. A total of $750,000 will be given to the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development in support of the creation of a trail for hikers and bicyclists that links the Great Allegheny Passage in Rankin Borough to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail in Trafford Borough through the Turtle Creek Valley.

“Everyone has the right to clean air and the Allegheny County Health Department continues to work to ensure that right for all residents,” said Dr. Debra Bogen, Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. “This settlement is another step toward that goal in Braddock and surrounding communities, many of which are designated environmental justice communities. We are pleased that a large portion of the Health Department’s share of the civil penalty will directly benefit Braddock and other Mon Valley communities that experience a disproportionate share of the environmental impact of the pollution this consent decree concerns.”