Allegheny County fines US Steel for coke plant violations 

  • Reid Frazier

The Allegheny County Health Department has fined US Steel $360,000 for air pollution violations at the company’s Clairton coke works committed during a six-month stretch between October 2019 and March 2020. 

The fines were for over 340 violations outlined by the county in a letter sent to the company about the Clairton Plant, the largest coke plant in North America.

As part of a previously reached settlement, the county has ordered the company to pay 90 percent of the fine, $325,260, to a Community Benefit Trust for several communities that surround the facility, which processes coal into coke, a key component of steelmaking. 

Prior to the agreement, the county had issued $3.5 million in fines for the Clairton plant since 2018, including a January fine of $800,000 and a settlement in June 2019 of $2.7 million for violations since 2018. 

US Steel spokeswoman Meghan Cox, in a statement, said the company’s “environmental performance is continuing to improve” and that the company “is currently reviewing” the fines. 

Cox said that the Clairton plant had a “record-breaking” month for environmental compliance in April, when the plant was functioning at a lowered capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

County officials said the plant began operating at decreased production levels due to lower demand. 

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