On Thursday, two environmental groups went to federal court in the United States, accusing steel company US Steel of 12,000 cases of air pollution at its Pittsburgh plants in a 2019 lawsuit against the company.
The lawsuit stemmed from a 2018 Christmas Eve fire at US Steel's Clairton plant that disrupted pollution controls. For three months after the incident, the company operated the Mont Valley plant without this equipment.
US Steel violated the Clean Air Act more than 12,000 times in 2018 and 2019, according to a lawsuit filed by PennEnvironment and the Clean Air Council in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Now environmentalists are requesting a summary judgment to confirm this as fact in the case.
“We want the court to establish that these violations have occurred, so once we find out, we can move on and decide what we are going to do to bring US Steel to justice,” said Ashley Deamer. Deputy Director of PennEnvironment.
According to the complaint, each of the 12,000 air pollution violations carries a possible penalty of up to $ 100,000. Environmentalists are demanding the appointment of an independent observer by the court to monitor US Steel's environmental compliance.
US Steel said it could not comment on the pending lawsuit. “However, since 2018, we have spent more than $ 300 million to improve the environment in the Mon Valley, reflecting only part of our commitment to protecting the environment,” said Amanda Malkowski, a company spokeswoman.