PennEnvironment and Clear Air Council announced on Wednesday that they plan to sue U.S. Steel Corporation for Clean Air Act violations.
The legal action focuses on the company's Pittsburgh-area facilities, including Clairton Coke Works, Irvin Steel Mill and Edgar Thomson Plant.
“For far too long, the Mon Valley Works has put residents’ health at risk,” said Ashleigh Deemer, PennEnvironment’s Western Pennsylvania Director. “We’re sending a clear message to U.S. Steel and all other polluters: We won’t let you run roughshod over cornerstone environmental laws and put our communities at risk.”
According to a release announcing the lawsuit, the Clairton Coke Works continued to operate without key pollution controls following a fire at the plant on Dec. 24.
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Asthma symptoms in children from the area have increased 36 percent since the fire, according to one study.
The environmental groups said they believe that since the fire, the Irvin and Edgar Thompson Plants have been burning uncleaned coke oven gas, resulting in pollution above permitted levels.
According to the release, if the violations are not addressed within 60 days, the groups can file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
A spokesperson the U.S. Steel released the following statement:
We are still reviewing the letter and will respond in the appropriate forum at the appropriate time. U. S. Steel is committed to continue working in full cooperation with relevant stakeholders, state and local government officials and the Allegheny County Health Department to achieve our common goal of protecting our shared environment and the jobs of thousands of skilled Mon Valley Works employees that manufacture world-class steel products and have been the pride of the Pittsburgh region for generations.
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