Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Consent Decree for Natrona Steel Plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Allegheny Health Department and the Department of Justice have reached a settlement with Allegheny Ludlum for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's Natrona silicon steel production plant. EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin says the settlement will bring cleaner air to Allegheny County....."“We’re pleased that we could resolve these issues without further litigation, meaning nearby communities will benefit sooner from improved air quality.”

As part of the settlement, Allegheny Ludlum will pay a $1.6 million penalty to be divided equally between the federal government and the Allegheny County Health Department for its Clean Air Fund. The company has agreed to permanently cease steel making operations at its Natrona plant by no later than November 30, 2010. Allegheny Ludlum had already planned to shut down the Natrona facility and consolidate operations at its nearby Brackenridge plant.
Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole says this agreement means a long-term commitment to cleaner air and continuing operations..."the output (from the consolidation) will be about the same and will lead to a dramatic reduction in emissions and result in cleaner air for the residents in the area."

Cole says this case dates back to "a significant number of complaints by residents" in 2007 about particulate pollution from the plant. The settlement is subject to a public comment period and final approval by federal court.

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