PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - Shenango Inc. must pay $1.75 million in civil penalties and make significant upgrades to its plant as part of a settlement reached with the Environmental Protection Agency.
The company, which has a plant located about five miles north of downtown Pittsburgh, also settled with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department ACHD.
The settlement resolves alleged air and water pollution violations at the company's coke manufacturing plant on Neville Island in Allegheny County.
Coke, used in steel manufacturing, involves the use of coal at high temperatures in an industrial oven until it forms a residue. It produces gases and particles that are regulated by the federal Clean Air Act.
According to the EPA, the Shenango facility has a history of noncompliance with federal, state and county regulations protecting public health from air pollution. The previous owner of the plant entered into a consent decree with EPA and ACHD in 2000 to bring the facility into compliance, but since then the violations continued, the EPA says. The company is now required to take corrective actions to reduce meet Clean Air Act standards.
The governments' complaint alleged numerous Clean Water Act violations including: exceeding the pollutant limits of the facility's permit for discharging wastewater for several years; failure to properly operate and maintain the facility's wastewater treatment plant; and unpermitted discharges of polluted runoff from the coal pile directly to the Ohio River.
The part of the consent decree resolving Clean Water Act violations requires the company to take remedial actions, including building a new biological wastewater treatment plant, implementing immediate upgrades to its current treatment processes while the new treatment facility is being constructed and constructing a coal pile runoff management system.
The civil penalties include $1.25 million to be divided equally between the United States and Allegheny County for the facility's Clean Air Act violations. The Clean Water Act civil penalties of $500,000 will be divided equally between the federal and state governments.