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  • Writer's pictureQiyam Ansari

Public Comment: Clairton Coke Works Title V Operating Permit

Check out this presentation on the Title V Operating Permit, it goes into what is covered in the most recent permit and how it affects your health.

Here are some talking points on the Mon Valley and US Steels actions for context:


The current permit for the U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works is out of date, and the current proposed draft is inadequate because it does not go far enough to protect the community or to comply with the EPA’s recent order to ensure that the facility would not violate its emissions limits.


U.S. Steel has abandoned the Mon Valley and invested elsewhere, leaving the proud union steelworkers and residents in the Pittsburgh area adrift, continuing to breathe some of the most polluted air in the country. In December 2023, the company sold to Nippon Steel, beginning the process of turning over operations to a foreign company. Our region deserves assurances that clean air quality will be a concern now and in the future.


In 2022, these residents have experienced air quality being ranked in the top-10 worst airsheds in the U.S. 40% of all days for at least a portion of the day based on EPA’s Air Quality Index hourly values. These areas ranked as the #1 worst airshed for about 10% of these periods. The Clairton Coke Works cannot continue to limp along at the expense of people's health.


You have until January 18th, to comment to ACHD on the permit, you can do so below using the following information.

 

Subject: Title V Operating Permit Amendment #0052-OP22a 

Body of e-mail:

 

Thank you for the opportunity to give feedback on the Title V Operating Permit Amendment #0052-OP22a, I appreciate the effort of the Allegheny County Health Department in enforcing Article 21 and ensuring that residents like me can breathe a little better. Given the lack of transparency around the orders of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Administrator Regan which stated, “ACHD (Allegheny County Health Department) must amend the permit record to explain how the remaining remedial measure required by the 2019 Order will lead to the source's compliance with all applicable requirements. ACHD has not followed this order. To safeguard community health and ensure transparency on ACHD regulatory effectiveness we are asking for the following items to be amended. 

 

  • We want a 60-minute requirement for CCW to notify ACHD when equipment breaks down.  ACHD should maintain an office open 24 hours/365 days a year that will receive this breakdown notice, and create a “real-time network” to then inform the Borough Secretaries and Police Departments of the Five Boroughs (Clairton, Glassport, Port Vue, Liberty, and Lincoln). 

  • We want fence line monitoring for PM10, PM2.5, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) to ensure correct pollution levels with that data being shared publicly with the community.  

  • The current draft does not call for continuous emissions monitoring systems for particulate matter (PM) for all boilers other than boiler 1 and boiler 2. This means there is no way to ensure that Coke Works can comply with the hourly particle (PM) emissions limits.  

  • The permit should require continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) on the coke batteries to monitor for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), such as benzene because emissions can vary for several types of coal and coking procedures in the coking batteries. Without such monitors, Coke Works cannot be ensured that it complies with emissions standards and limits. 

 

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