Updated: Jan 20
This story was updated to include more links to news articles related to the settlement agreement.
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) in a press release Monday announced that it has finalized the settlement agreement and order with U.S. Steel that was issued in June of 2019.
The announcement comes more than six months after ACHD held a public hearing to receive comments on the settlement—a hearing at which GASP and myriad other environmental organizations and residents spoke.
The agreement addresses ACHD’s 2018 enforcement order and all subsequent penalties issued against the Clairton Coke Works from 2018-19. It also requires the company to meet the improvement criteria of the 2018 enforcement order, which includes $200 million in plant improvements.
ACHD said two important elements of the final order have been completed:
A Community Benefit Trust has been established for impacted communities: Clairton, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue. These communities will be able to utilize funds for projects that improve, protect, or reduce the risk to public health or the environment.
The Smithfield Trust Company will serve as administrator of the trust and will guide the communities with all aspects of administration. These communities represent the areas that modeling has demonstrated to be the most immediately impacted by the emissions from the Clairton Coke Works and have previously been designated by EPA for failing to meet particulate matter standards. Neither ACHD nor U.S. Steel will be involved in the administration of this trust. The current trust deposits are:
$2,459,253 (Initial Deposit – July of 2019)
$669,262.50 (2nd and 3rd quarter penalties of 2019)
90 percent of all battery fugitive emissions violations at the Clairton Coke Works will be deposited into the Community Benefit Trust for approximately five years.
Citizens and elected officials from Clairton, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue will be selected to be part of a Community Advisory Panel. The Panel will meet quarterly with representatives from U.S. Steel to discuss concerns related to the Clairton Coke Works.
View the amendment to the agreement here. To view the public comment and response document, and for additional information regarding the Community Benefit Trust, visit ACHD’s legal page: http://bit.ly/2H2jnWh.
Editor’s Note: GASP is reviewing the finalized settlement agreement, please check back—this story will be updated with reaction and links to associated media stories.
Environmental Trust Fund Established for Five Mon Valley Communities, published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Finalizes Settlement with U.S. Steel, published by KDKA
U.S. Steel, Allegheny County Finalize Clairton Coke Works Emissions Settlement, published by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
U.S. Steel and Health Department Finalize Settlement Agreement, published by the Pittsburgh Business Times