On Monday, Penn Environment says a settlement was reached after they filed the Clean Air Act Lawsuit in April of 2019, for a fire that broke out at the Mon Valley Works Facility, in Clairton. They say it holds the U.S. Steel Corporation accountable for more than 12,000 violations.
“Clean air is a right, not a privilege.” says David Masur, with Penn Environment. He says “The pollution was so bad that the Allegheny County health department told local residents living downwind from the facility not to leave their homes.”
Masur says chemicals reported included sulfur dioxide and other ”harmful small particulates,” which he says U.S. Steel “spewed out a months worth” of it “in three days.”
Officials say “residents reported splitting headaches, uncontrollable asthma attacks, and difficulty breathing.”
Case attorneys say U.S. Steel did not handle the situation appropriately, despite them allegedly knowing what was happening.
“If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that these outages were a completely predictable result of decades of decay, and collect mismanagement by U.S. Steel.”
Nearby residents say the emissions have caused them “immeasurable harm.” “The December 2018 fire never should have occurred in the first place. It’s occurrence is directly related to U.S. Steel’s intentional strategy of not maintaining its Clairton code for citizens.”
“All you could smell was sulfur dioxide. It smelled like someone was passing gas right in your face
“At U.S. Steel, there are more than 3,000 hardworking men and women in the Mon Valley who strive every day to make essential steel in a way that complies with all environmental regulations. When we miss that mark, we will make changes so we can do better,”