Following the Christmas Eve 2018 explosion and fire at the Clairton Coke Works, residents of eight communities surrounding the facility gathered on Jan. 23 with environmental advocates to share their concerns regarding its operation. The fire destroyed the plant’s ability to remove oil and sulfur emissions from the still-operating coke ovens, contributing to serious ongoing health concerns.

One month after the explosion, the region’s largest polluting facility is still operating without critical pollution control equipment and in violation of their Clean Air Act permit. This has resulted in ongoing violations of sulfur dioxide levels near the plant, including a violation nearly double the legal limits.

“Every day that this plant continues to run without critical pollution control is a day that Allegheny County chooses to side with illegal polluters over the health of our families,” said Zachary Barber of PennEnvironment. “It’s time for U.S. Steel to comply with the Clean Air Act or shut down Clairton.”

Photo: U.S. Steel Clairton Works in Clairton, Pennsylvania. Credit: Roy Luck via Flickr CC BY 2.0.