Flames and heavy smoke spewing from U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works on Monday prompted the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to issue the following statement through the County’s Allegheny Alert system:
Today, July 4, at 5:30 a.m., the United States Steel Clairton Coke Works plant experienced a power outage that affected plant operations. Power was recently restored and the facility is working to return to normal operations.
The outage has required the flaring of coke oven gasses from the stacks and batteries. The Allegheny Health Department’s Air Quality Program has been monitoring its air quality monitors around the plant since the outage occurred.
Area monitors have not indicated any adverse conditions since the event and it is believed that the power outage will either not affect or only minimally affect plant emissions. The Health Department will remain in contact with the plant throughout the day.
Stunning footage of the scene from 5:30 a.m. through 10 a.m. was provided courtesy of the Breathe Cam and our friend Mark Dixon:
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As of just before 2:00 p.m., Breathe Cam footage shows additional flaring is still occurring:
“I’m glad to know ACHD is monitoring the situation but I’m not sure about its assertion concerning plant emissions,” GASP staff attorney Ned Mulcahy said. “The Breathe Cam images – particularly one from around 9:15 a.m. – appear to show more than a ‘minimal’ effect on emissions. I hope to see more complete details of the situation made public as quickly as possible.”
GASP will continue to review monitor data and live video footage.
This story will be updated when further information is available.