The United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have settled a federal court case against ArcelorMittal Monessen LLC (AMM), involving alleged Clean Air Act violations at AMM’s coke (purified coal) plant in Monessen, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced recently.
The proposed consent decree, filed today in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, resolves a joint federal-state complaint against AMM, which is a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel making company.
“This settlement demonstrates how EPA can work with our state partners to implement the Clean Air Act to reduce harmful air pollutants in communities,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Because of the Act, Americans breathe less pollution and face lower risks of premature death and other serious health effects.”
Under the settlement, AMM will pay a $1.5M penalty divided equally between the U.S. and Pennsylvania, and implement an estimated $2M in air pollution controls to limit particulate and sulfur compound emissions. The settlement also resolves a separate citizens’ suit filed by PennEnvironment, an environmental group that represented residents in the surrounding neighborhood.
“This settlement will reduce harmful air pollutants, benefiting the health and environment of residents around the Monessen coke plant,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the EPA and other federal and state agencies to ensure that companies comply with the Clean Air Act.”
The complaint alleges Clean Air Act violations based on inspections by the EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as well as follow-up requests for information. The alleged violations include excessive emissions of particulate matter from industrial operations.
Particulate matter emissions include microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can cause serious health problems when inhaled, particularly impacting children, the elderly, and those suffering from respiratory problems.
The proposed consent decree, available for review at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees , is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
SOURCE: The Environmental Protection Agency