U.S. Steel’s Clairton Plant, also known as the Clairton Coke Works, is the third-most toxic air polluter in Allegheny County. There are roughly 36,900 people within just three miles of this facility. The Clean Air Act permit for the plant is overdue to be renewed, though a renewal application was submitted in Fall 2016 and is still being reviewed by the Allegheny County Health Department.
The emissions from this plant, the largest manufacturer of coke – a type of refined coal – in the country, may have contributed to health issues in the area. Asthma rates among kids in Clairton are three times higher than they are in the rest of the country, and toxic air pollution has contributed to high cancer risk in the area, according to the EPA’s most recent National Air Toxics Assessment.
Due to multiple emissions violations, the Clairton Coke Works has paid almost $4 million in fines since 2009. From 2012 until 2015, 6,700 air permit violations were reported for this plant, an average of more than four violations per day. U.S. Steel reached an agreement in 2016 with regulators that the county health department said would improve compliance at the facility, but violations continue to occur. According to the EPA’s online enforcement database, as of February 2018, this facility has been out of compliance with the Clean Air Act for 11 of the last 12 quarters.
|Cancer||Benzene, Styrene, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Propylene|
|Cardiovascular System Impacts||Benzene, Naphthalene|
|Nervous System Impacts||Carbon Disulfide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Lead, Mercury, Styrene, Toluene|
|Respiratory System Impacts||Ammonia, Cyanide Compounds, Hydrogen Sulfide, Phenol|