PITTSBURGH, PA—On Oct. 8, 2015, NELC attorneys filed a citizen suit under the federal Clean Air Act against the world’s largest steel company, Arcelor- Mittal, to address hundreds of ongoing violations at the company’s Pittsburgh-area coke plant. The complaint was filed on behalf of PennEnvironment and its members in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, after NELC sent the required notice to ArcelorMittal on Aug. 4, 2015.
Due to a wide variety of alleged problems at the plant, residents of the surrounding towns are experiencing sootfall, acidic gases, and noxious odors. Those most severely affected live in Westmoreland and Washing- ton counties in the municipalities of Monessen, Donora, Monongahela, and Carroll Township.
“In the past 60 days, I have called and complained to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 12 times because of the foul odors and air pollution that continue to emanate from the Monessen Coke Plant,” said Viktoryia Maroz, a resident of Donora. “This poisoning of the public has to stop.”
“The public needs and deserves an advocate to stand up on their behalf,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment. “It is not acceptable that the world’s largest steel company, which brings in $80 billion annually, hasn’t found a way to comply with our cornerstone environmental laws.”
PennEnvironment’s complaint seeks a court order requiring the Monessen Coke Plant to comply with its Clean Air Act permit, as well as civil penalties against ArcelorMittal to punish it for past violations and to deter future violations.
In an attempt to resolve the plant’s air pollution violations and bring relief to local residents as quickly and efficiently as possible, NELC attorneys have initiated discussions with ArcelorMittal, the DEP, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to jointly develop solutions that will bring the plant into sustained compliance with Clean Air Act emissions standards and limitations without extended litigation.