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Settlement reached between U.S. Steel, health officials after repeated fires

PITTSBURGH — The Allegheny County Health Department and U.S. Steel announced a settlement agreement following multiple fires and pollution discharges at the Clairton Coke Works.

Officials with the health department said this agreement requires U.S. Steel to meet improvement rules that were issued following the incident around Christmas in 2018.

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The agreement, according to health officials, includes an annual audit by a third party for coke oven and air pollution and U.S. Steel paying all fines related to the 2018 incident amounting to $2,732,504. Health officials said that money will go into a clean air fund and a benefit trust for impacted communities. The agreement also includes the creation of a community panel of citizens and elected officials from impacted communities.

Here are some other terms of the agreement:

  • Repairs to the batters and battery operations to help reduce fugitive and stack emission
  • Installation of air curtains for Battery B (to improve the capture of fugitive emissions)
  • Battery 15 will repair leaks
  • Upgraded bag houses for batters 13, 14, and 15 and 19 and 20 (reduces the emission of particulate matter)
  • Replacement of Battery 15 stack (making it taller for better dispersion)
  • Rebuild of end flues for batters 1,2, and 3

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Officials with U.S. Steel said the company has committed to investing $200 million for improvements at the Clairton Coke Works after already pledging $1 billion for several new facilities at the Clairton plant.

“U.S. Steel believes this agreement fairly addresses the reasons for our appeal of the enforcement orders related to battery compliance at our Clairton Plant while also demonstrating our commitment to protecting our shared environment and neighboring communities,” said Sara Greenstein, Senior Vice President of Consumer Solutions at U.S. Steel.

This agreement follows two separate incidents at the Clairton Coke Works. On Dec. 24 last year, there was a fire that damaged two gas dispatcher stations, causing sulfur dioxide emissions that exceeded federal standards. Earlier this month, there was an electrical fire involving the same equipment that controls cleaning the coke oven gases.

The Allegheny County Health Department has the agreement listen online for public comment. CLICK HERE to read the full settlement.

 
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