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ACHD stated there had been 831 separate instances between January 2020 and March 15. The U.S.The ACHD Air Quality Program proposes to amend the applicable provisions to be at least as stringent as the Pennsylvania and federal regulations. U.S.We agree but would like to take it a step further.


Valley Clean Air Now believes that ACHD should include the following actions in the new Coke Oven Regulations.


ACHD should establish in the regulationsU.S.hat U.S. Steel will no longer operate Batteries 1, 2, and 3 past March 31, 2023. U.S.These batteries were constructed in the 1950s and consistently violated ACHD ruleU.S. While U.S. Steel has stated these batteries will be closed, residents deserve an enforceable date.


Residents need increased transparency around the monitoring of Clairton Coke Works and the data from the plant. ACHD needs real-time data on plant emissions that do notU.S.ely on U.S. Steel management or staff. The public should have access to all real-time U.S.data.


U.S. Steel should not produce coke from ovens/batteries that do not have functioning/reliable pollution control equipment.


Ovens should be required to be hotly idled until fixed. If pollution control equipment is compromised or in inoperable condition, the plant should be directed to have temporary halts in production. Last and most importantly, Violations and fees should be non-negotiable.


U.S. Steel earned $882 million, or $3.02 per share, in the three months ended March 31. CEO David B. Burritt stated that it was another quarter of records .S. Steel with the continued demonstration of the power of our Best for All strategy,” The company announced in January that it would build a $3 billion mini-mill in Osceola, Ark.The state-of-the-art facility will feature technology meant to reduce Steel’s greenhouse gas footprint and make it more efficient. This investment comes after reneging a 1 Billion dollar investment in the Mon Valley to clean up their act here.


Members of Valley Clean Air Now held a rally, which you can see below:



You can find the full Allegheny County Health Department Coke Oven Regulation hearing below:


Check out these photos from the event:



We also manage to spread the word and get the media’s attention. Check this article in front of The Mon Valley Independent, Post Gazette,90.5 WESA, and StateImpact Pennsylvania.





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(Clairton) – The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is holding a public hearing tonight at 6:00 pm at the Clairton Municipal Building (551 Ravensburg Blvd., Clairton) concerning their proposed renewal of US Steel’s operating permit for the Clairton Coke Works. Members of Valley Clean Air Now (VCAN), a group of Mon Valley residents), will be speaking at the hearing urging ACHD to take steps to end the long history of pollution violations from the plant.

“Allowing USS Clairton Works to CONSISTENTLY violate their permit by issuing slap on the wrist fines and penalties are not protecting the Health of Residents,” stated Germaine Gooden-Patterson, a Clairton resident active with Valley Clean Air Now.

VCAN presented the following steps they want ACHD to take in US Steel’s permit:

  • A definitive enforceable date that US Steel will close the 70-year-old coke batteries 1, 2, and 3. US Steel has publicly stated it will close these batteries which have a high rate of violations, however, the company has a history of going back on its word.

  • Increased real-time monitoring of the plant so ACHD is not dependent on US Steel management to report emissions from the plant. ACHD has stated in court documents that they were not aware of the massive emissions following the December 2018 fire at the plant. The community should have access to all real-time emissions data.

  • US Steel should not be allowed to produce coke from their plant if pollution control equipment is inoperable (as occurred from December 2018 to April 2019). The permit should have an effective plan to reduce emissions on days when pollution levels exceed federal standards as required by ACHD’s Mon Valley Pollution Episode Rule.

Qiyam Ansari, Environmental Justice Organizer for Clean Water Action stated, “We need to make sure we never repeat what happened in Clairton after the Christmas Eve fire in 2018. Mon Valley residents have consistently said that ACHD needs to clean up this plant or shut it down. We urge ACHD to listen to the community’s input to this permit.”

Na’Tisha Washington with OnePA stated, "The residents of the Mon Valley continuously suffer physically, economically, and emotionally from the dangerously high emissions US Steel puts in their air. We are continually ranking at the top for the highest PM2.5 pollution in the nation, which is a pollutant proven to negatively impact the health of residents, especially children, and seniors, but not enough has been done to address this health concern. It is the mission of ACHD "to protect, promote, and preserve the health and well-being of ALL Allegheny County residents, particularly the most vulnerable." So we ask you to stay true to that mission by making sure the Mon Valley resident's needs are a priority during your decision-making."

ACHD will be accepting public comment on their proposed renewal of US Steel’s operating permit for the Clairton Coke Works until March 15. Comments can be sent to: aqpermits@alleghenycounty.us

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U. S. Steel Mon Valley Works Clairton Plant is the largest by-products coke plant in North America. The Clairton Plant operates 10 coke batteries and produces approximately 13,000 tons of coke per day from the destructive distillation of more than 18,000 tons of coal per day.

This constant air pollution leads to respiratory illness, bad air quality days, and unknown long term health effects.


Valley Clean Air Now believes that ACHD should include the following actions in the Title V permit renewal.

  • We want a definitive date for the shutdown of old coke batteries 1,2 and 3. This date should be included in the Title V permit so ACHD can enforce the shutdown.

  • Increased transparency around the monitoring of Clairton Coke works and the data from the plant. ACHD needs real time data on emissions from the plant that does not rely on US Steel management or staff. The public should have access to all real time data.

  • ACHD should ensure that violations that resulted from the December, 2018 fire should not be repeated in the future.

  • If pollution control equipment is compromised or in inoperable condition, the plant should be required to be put on hot idle or other temporary halts in production.

  • Violations and fees should be non-negotiable.

  • When air quality reaches unhealthy levels, the plant should be required to reduce emissions enough that nearby residents are not exposed to dangerous levels of pollution. An approved Pollution Mitigation Plan should be included in the Title V permit.


If you also care about U.S Steel Mon Valley Works actions, a public hearing is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Clairton Municipal Building, 551 Ravensburg Blvd., Clairton, 15025 regarding the proposed issuance of the permits listed here on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at 6 pm. Register Here, and make sure your voice is heard.


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