Pittsburgh Regional Transit, U.S. Steel Support Facility, Others Cited for Air Quality Violations


Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) entered into a consent agreement with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to settle air quality violations related to operating permits for natural gas-fired generators and boilers at its four garages.


The consent agreement with PRT (formerly the Port Authority of Allegheny County) came with a $2,090 civil penalty and was one of several enforcement actions posted ACHD’s enforcement docket this month.


The Aug. 16 order indicates that PRT failed to notify ACHD prior to removing the natural gas-fired equipment and also did not apply for installation permits before their replacement.


You can read the entire consent order here.


ACHD also took the following enforcement actions:


TMS International Agreement Calls for $4,800 Penalty for Exceeding Permit Limits


ACHD entered into a consent agreement with TMS International June 27, ordering the company to pay a $4,800 civil penalty for exceeding permit restrictions related to the Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) methanol.


A little about TMS: The company owns and operates a slag processing facility located adjacent to U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock, performing screening, magnetic separation, and materials conveying operations.


The facility is a minor source of all criteria pollutants, but a major source of methanol. TMS is subject to Title V Operating Permit requirements because it is co-located at U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Plant.


You can read the settlement agreement here. The underlying enforcement order, dated April 22, called for a $7,200 fine.



ACHD Notifies Magnus Supply That Mon Valley Episode Mitigation Plan Needed


ACHD on June 6 issued an enforcement order against Magnus Supply Company for failing to submit a Mon Valley Air Pollution Episode Rule mitigation plan as required - ordering the company to remit one within 14 days of the notice.


According to the order, ACHD first notified the Braddock-based company on Jan. 28 regarding the April 27 deadline to submit the mitigation plan. The department followed up with Magnus on May 17 before issuing the enforcement order in June.


While the docket includes no further information about the case, ACHD’s web page dedicated to the Mon Valley Episode Rule was updated to include a document showing Magnus submitted its plan on July 19.


In that Notice of Disapproval dated Aug. 18, ACHD deemed Magnus’ mitigation plan as “unacceptable” and ordered it to resubmit. The department noted that the July 19 plan would stay in effect until ACHD approved the newly submitted document.


No further information is available on the ACHD website to indicate whether or not Magnus Supply complied with the order or if a civil penalty was ultimately issued.


NCP Issued Notice of Violation for Failing to Report Breakdown


ACHD on June 23 issued a Notice of Violation against Jefferson Hills-based North Central Processing for failing to report equipment breakdowns that occurred on and prior to May 25.


The NOV indicates that ACHD received a complaint about high-opacity visual emissions emanating from the facility’s baghouse. According to the document:


The North Central Processing representative informed the ACHD that they had a hole in their bag on and had had an additional issue with holes in the baghouse filters two weeks prior. A breakdown report was not called into ACHD within 24 hours of either breakdown. Upon contacting North Central Processing and explaining the Article 21 breakdown reporting requirements, the facility submitted the appropriate follow up breakdown reports.


ACHD Issues Warning Letter to Construction Companies Over Dust Issues at Hawkins Village Redevelopment in Rankin


ACHD this summer put two construction companies on formal notice that they had violated local air pollution control rules by allowing dust to migrate across the property line from demolition and material handling activities at the former Hawkins Village site.


Warning of Violation letters were sent to Triton Holdings (July 15) and Mistick Construction (Aug. 11) stating that, “In the future, if you or your company fail to comply with ACHD or federal regulations, you may be subject to civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation per day and summary criminal penalties upon conviction of up to $2,500 per violation per day.”


No further information on either case was available on the ACHD website.


Shields Asphalt Paving Issued Notice of Violation for Open Burning (Two Years Later)


The Allegheny County Health Department on Aug. 11 issued a Notice of Violation to Shields Asphalt Paving for an open burning violation stemming from a Nov. 25, 2020 incident.


The notice stated:


On November 25, 2020, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) received a complaint regarding open burning at 5969 William Flynn Highway, Bakerstown, PA 15044. Shields Asphalt Paving, Inc. (Shields Paving) operates the Gibsonia office of their paving company (there). ACHD met with Shields Paving representatives and performed an inspection. An active burn area that included felled trees in excess of 15 feet long was observed during the inspection. Shields Paving did not hold an ACHD open burning permit at the time of the inspection.


No civil penalty was noted and no other action was required. It was unclear why it took two years for the department to issue the notice.


ACHD Takes Enforcement Action Related to Abrasive Blasting, Asbestos Violations


Just by way of background: Allegheny County Health Department’s rules require an asbestos survey (a thorough inspection to determine the presence of asbestos) for certain renovation and demolition projects and depending on the quantity of asbestos identified, proper notification, specific work practices, and proper disposal of asbestos-containing material are required.

The notification requirements for facility demolition and renovation activities are dependent upon the amount of asbestos-containing (ACM) material at the site.

If less than 160 square feet of ACM is identified in the facility, a properly completed notification must be submitted 10 days before demolition or renovation activity begins. If the amount of ACM is 160 square feet or more, a properly completed permit application must be submitted with appropriate payment at least 10 working days before the asbestos abatement begins.

A licensed asbestos contractor must remove all ACM identified as described in the permit. Demolition or renovation activities may proceed once ACHD has performed a final clearance inspection.

But back to those asbestos enforcement actions:

  • ACHD issued a stop work order to Oakwood Park Apartments/NDC Asset Management Aug. 22 for failure to obtain the proper asbestos abatement clearances for construction work located at 1600 Settlers Drive in Oakdale. You can read the enforcement document here.

  • ACHD issued a notice of violation letter to Pittsburgh Brewing Company Aug. 10 for failing to submit an abrasive blasting notification form prior to commencing renovations at 150 Ferry Street in Creighton. The notice of violation stemmed from a complaint made to ACHD on June 29 regarding fugitive emissions at the property. The letter notes that no further action is needed.

Editor's Note: Allegheny County Health Department began posting enforcement actions to its website in 2020. You can view ACHD's air quality enforcement page here.


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