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Local Resident Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Steel Over Dust, Noxious Odors from Edgar Thomson Facility

A new class action lawsuit against U.S. Steel alleges the company’s negligent practices at its Braddock-based Edgar Thomson facility led to dust blanketing local homes and noxious odors waking residents from sleep and otherwise interfering with their ability to enjoy their property.

The Nov. 1 complaint filed on behalf of West Mifflin resident Alissa Finley “and all others similarly situated” accuses the Mon Valley steelmaker of “failing to install and/or maintain adequate technology to control the emission of noxious odors and fugitive dust” and seeks compensatory and punitive damages for what it called “reckless indifference to the rights of others.”

According to the suit:

“(U.S. Steel) knowingly breached its duty to exercise ordinary care and diligence when it improperly maintained, operated, engineered, constructed, and/or designed the facility and knew, or should have known, that such actions would cause Plaintiff’s property to be invaded by noxious odors and particulates.”

The suit seeks to represent those who owned or occupied residential properties within a one-mile radius of the Edgar Thomson facility since 2020. According to the complaint, there are 3,746 households that meet those criteria but the complaint notes the "boundary is subject to modification" as the case progresses. Residents from more than 70 of those households have already been in contact with the firm filing the suit.

This, of course, isn’t the first legal action spurred by emissions issues at the Edgar Thomson Works: In September, county and federal air quality regulators announced they had entered into a proposed consent decree with U.S. Steel to settle years of air quality violations at the facility.

The proposed decree – signed by the Mon Valley’s most egregious air polluter, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) – calls for U.S. Steel to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty and make numerous improvements to the facility.

The proposed agreement, which was subject to a public comment period, has not yet been finalized. You can read all about that on our watchdog blog here.

Editor’s Note: The Nov. 1 complaint is a private action outside of the regulatory framework and is not subject to a public comment period. You can read the entire legal document here.

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