The Allegheny county Health Department has slapped a fine of $740,000 on U.S. Steel (USS) for air pollution control and permit violations at its Clairton Coke Works facility in Clairton, Pennsylvania.
The department indicated that these violations occurred at the facility in the second and third quarters of 2019.
Ninety percent of the total fine will be paid to the Community Benefit Trust for communities who have been impacted by these violations, and the remaining 10pc will be paid to the Clean Air Fund, according to a statement by the department.
The penalties were calculated pursuant to a settlement agreement that was reached between USS and the health department in June 2019. That agreement covered $2.7mn in fines relating to air pollution violations and enforcement orders from early 2019.
About 100 Clairton citizens and environmental activists held a rally in downtown Pittsburgh on Jan 10, to protest the region’s air pollution. During the rally, protestors demanded that USS, which operates the Clairton Coke facility, be held accountable for its pollution problem.
The Pittsburgh manufacturer has faced issues of dangerous emissions at this facility in the past. USS agreed to pay $8.5mn on Dec 14, 2019, to settle a 2017 lawsuit that accused the company of air quality emissions negligence.
Health and pollution concerns surrounding the coke works have also been a continuing factor since a fire occurred at the plant on Dec 24, 2018.