Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim Delivers Remarks at the ALI-CLE Environmental Law Conference in Washington, D.C.
The United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have settled a federal court case against ArcelorMittal Monessen LLC (AMM), involving alleged Clean Air Act violations at AMM’s coke (purified coal) plant in Monessen, Pennsylvania.
The proposed consent decree, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, resolves a joint federal-state complaint against AMM, which is a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel making company.
Under the settlement, AMM will pay a $1.5 million penalty divided equally between the U.S. and Pennsylvania, and implement an estimated $2 million in air pollution controls to limit particulate and sulfur compound emissions.
“This settlement will reduce harmful air pollutants, benefiting the health and environment of residents around the Monessen coke plant,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the EPA and other federal and state agencies to ensure that companies comply with the Clean Air Act.”
“This settlement demonstrates how EPA can work with our state partners to implement the Clean Air Act to reduce harmful air pollutants in communities,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Because of the Act, Americans breathe less pollution and face lower risks of premature death and other serious health effects.”
“Through aggressive enforcement of the Clean Air Act, the Department of Justice, EPA, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have brought relief to the residents of Monessen and the surrounding communities,” said Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “In addition to paying a significant civil penalty, AMM will invest in pollution-control measures designed to bring the company back into compliance with the Clean Air Act.”
The complaint alleges Clean Air Act violations based on inspections by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as well as follow-up requests for information. The alleged violations include excessive emissions of particulate matter from industrial operations.
Particulate matter emissions include microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can cause serious health problems when inhaled, particularly impacting children, the elderly, and those suffering from respiratory problems.
The proposed consent decree, available for review at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees , is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.