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Lt. Gov. Fetterman tours Clairton Coke Plant, gives update on repairs after fire

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman toured the Clairton Coke Plant Friday to get a look at the repairs underway and get a progress report following the Dec. 24, 2018 fire.

Community members and local legislators have raised concerns about the air quality in the area and practices at the U.S. Steel plant.

The tour itself was off limits to the media, because of what US Steel called safety concerns, but afterwards Fetterman only had positive things to say about the company's response.

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"They've done the best anyone could possibly expect given the catastrophic nature of the fire," he said.

Plant manager Mike Rhoades told Channel 11 that due to the size of the building and the extent of the damage to equipment, production will be slowing down for repairs and less gas will be emitted.


The goal is to have work completed by mid-May, and Rhoades said the environment is the priority.

But people who live in the shadow of the plant say they're not satisfied, and they want more from their elected officials.

"We need someone with a stronger voice," Clairton resident Melanie Meade said.

There are also many unanswered questions about what goes on inside the plant and why it took four weeks for the company to notify neighbors about the problem.

"They have not been transparent. If we were not informed in a timely manner //They aren't doing their best when they aren't finding out a better way of doing this," Meade said.