BREAKING: Environmental response to U.S. Steel plant running without critical pollution controls AGAIN
In response to the announcement that U.S.Steel's Clariton Coke Works is again operating without critical pollution controls, PennEnvironment issued the following statement:
“Yet another fire at this aging facility further underscores the dangers of allowing US Steel to continue to operate what amounts to a doomsday machine that cannot be turned off when pollution controls are knocked off-line. Clairton Coke Works needs upgrades and long-term fixes that ensure pollution controls will operate whenever the plant is running more urgently than it needs billion-dollar investments to make the plant more profitable. Putting an end to these recurring problems is exactly why we sued U.S. Steel and why the Allegheny County Health Department decided to join our lawsuit," said Ashleigh Deemer, the Western PA Director for PennEnvironment. "The residents of the Mon Valley deserve clean air, not more illegal pollution from U.S. Steel."
Here is the original announcement from the Allegheny County Health Department:
"ACHD was notified by U.S Steel at approximately 4:43 a.m. of an electrical equipment fire that occurred at its Clairton Coke Works facility. The fire has been put out. Control rooms 1, 2 and 5 were shut down because of the fire. Control 1 is now back to normal operations. Currently, control rooms 2 and 5, which hold the equipment and controls necessary to clean the coke oven gases, remain shut down. These are the same two control rooms that were immediately shut down following the December 24, 2018 fire. As these control rooms remain offline, this means there is no desulfurization of coke oven gas. Multiple mitigation measures are underway, like those used after the December 24 fire. Health Department inspectors on-site have been instructed to observe the damage and will be providing additional information to the department. Sensitive populations, including those with respiratory conditions, children and the elderly, should be aware of the potential for elevated levels of SO2; however, there is no need for residents to take specific precautions at this time. ACHD will continue to gather additional details to determine the next course of action and will keep the public updated as further information becomes available."