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ACHD Hits U.S. Steel, ALCOSAN, Synthomer & Others with Air Quality Violations, Fines

Updated: 24 hours ago

Editor’s Note: The Allegheny County Health Department periodically updates its website to include documents related to air quality enforcement actions. As part of our watchdog work, GASP monitors this webpage and reports on the air quality violations posted there.


The Allegheny County Health Department has issued yet an enforcement order against U.S. Steel - the 10th in the past two years - for emissions violations at its Clairton Coke Works facility.


In an enforcement action dated May 3 but posted to the ACHD enforcement docket Thursday, ACHD said that sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at the Clairton plant exceeded its permitted hourly limit following a biennial compliance test in September 2023.


The department assessed a $7,700 civil penalty for the violation - $3,500 of which was levied because of U.S. Steel’s shoddy compliance record.


U.S. Steel has 30 days to appeal the order and fine.



ALCOSAN Fined $2,500 for Exceeding Lead Emissions Limits


The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (known as ALCOSAN for short) on May 3 was fined $2,500 for violating the terms of its Title V air quality operating permit.


According to a May 3 ACHD enforcement order, ALCOSAN exceeded its emissions limits for lead from Oct. 9, 2023, to June 2, 2024.



ALCOSAN on June 11 appealed the order. You can read the appeal here.


West Elizabeth-Based Synthomer Fined More Than $10K for VOC Emissions 


ACHD on Feb. 28 issued an enforcement order against West Elizabeth-based Synthomer (formerly Eastman Chemical) for exceeding its annual emissions limits for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for 2020, 2021, and 2022.


The enforcement order also noted that Synthomer violated the terms of its installation permit after an equipment breakdown on Sept. 3, 2023 resulted in the release of about 7,400 pounds of what’s known as RHS vapor, which consists entirely of VOCs.


For these violations, Synthomer was ordered to pay a $10,500 civil penalty. 



Coraopolis Terminals Fined for Failure to Submit Required Reports by Deadline


ACHD on Feb. 29 issued an enforcement order against Coraopolis Terminals for submitting its required annual certification of compliance by the deadline.


The company submitted the report on Jan. 30, 2024 - 61 days after the Nov. 30 deadline.


A civil penalty of $480 was assessed.



ACHD Issues Civil Penalty Against Contractor Following Demo at Clairton Coke Works


ICC Commonwealth on Feb. 29 received a $1,170 civil penalty for failing to notify ACHD that demolition work it conducted at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works facility within the required 10-day window.


According to the enforcement order, an ACHD representative observed demolition work occurring at the Battery C stack and contacted ICC Commonwealth and asked for - and received - the proper paperwork.



In addition…


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