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Allegheny County Health Department Seeks Public Comment on U.S. Steel, Other Air Quality Permits

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Allegheny County Health Department is now seeking public comment on several air quality permits. Two notices were published in late January with comments being accepted for the first batch of permits through Feb. 22. Another set of air quality permits will be out for public comment through March 15

Of particular interest are permits for U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works facilities. The installation permit for the proposed Co-Generation Plant at the Clairton Coke Works is among them. You can read the installation permit here and the installation permit review memo here.

By way of background: The co-gen plant will use coke oven gas created at the plant to generate electricity. The plant should become electrically independent as a result of the project and may be able to export power to the grid.  

“Three of the plant’s six existing boilers will be shut down permanently by the project; the remaining three boilers will be operated only on a limited basis,” senior attorney John Baillie explained.

Also out for public comment at the Clairton plant is the installation permit for its Pushing Emissions Control (PEC) Baghouse Replacement project. You can read that installation permit here and the installation permit review memo here.

The PEC baghouse system controls pushing emissions from batteries 13-15, 19, and 20. U.S. Steel has maintained that the new system will reduce pushing emissions from those batteries – which are largely fugitive emissions – by capturing them and routing them through a baghouse and out of a stack.  

However, permitted emissions will increase as a result of the project.

Another U.S. Steel installation permit is for an endless rolling caster at the Edgar Thomson facility. It can be viewed here and the associated review memo can be reviewed here

The endless caster and roller will replace two existing continuous strand casters at Edgar Thomson and likely render obsolete a hot strip mill at U.S. Steel’s Irvin Works.  

In addition, ACHD is also seeking public input on the draft installation permit for emergency generators at Edgar Thomson. You can read that installation permit here and the associated review memo here.

“We think it is important to point out that while these permits are now in public comment, U.S. Steel continues to waver on their commitment to moving forward with them,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said, referencing recent media reports.

GASP is currently reviewing the permits and will likely submit formal comments. We will share those when they are available. 

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