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EPA, DEP $1.5 Million Penalty Settlement With ArcelorMittal Monessen Coke Coal Plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Protection Wednesday announced they have settled a federal court case against ArcelorMittal Monessen LLC, involving alleged Clean Air Act violations at AMM’s coke (purified coal) plant in Monessen, Westmoreland County.

The proposed consent decree, filed 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 steelmaking 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 $1.5 million penalty divided equally between the U.S. and Pennsylvania, and implement an estimated $2 million 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.”

“DEP’s joint enforcement with EPA exemplifies an effective collaboration between federal and state agencies,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Citizen engagement, coupled with inspections and enforcement at the agency level, is key to effective oversight that fosters real improvements to air quality.”

“Bringing ArcelorMittal Monessen into compliance was the air quality priority in this region, and ArcelorMittal’s recent cooperation and the state/federal enforcement efforts have already lead to improvements at the facility,” said DEP Acting Southwest Regional Director, Ronald Schwartz. “Remedial measures underway and memorialized in this consent decree provide an avenue for continued operations at the facility and improvements to the air and quality of life for Mon Valley residents.”

The complaint alleges Clean Air Act violations based on inspections by the EPA and the 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 consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.

Click Here for the proposed consent decree.

NewsClips:

ArcelorMittal To Pay $1.5 Million Penalty For Pollution Violations

AP: ArcelorMittal Agrees To Pay $1.5 Million In Coke Plant Lawsuit

ArcelorMittal Agrees To $1.5M Settlement Over Pollution At Monessen Plant

Frazier: Coke Coal Plant Agrees To $1.5 Million Penalty For Air Pollution

Record Settlement Reached Over Monessen Plant Emissions

[Posted: Dec. 20, 2017]


12/25/2017

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