U.S. Steel Faces Clean Air Act Suit
Aug. 6, 2012
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental agencies against U.S. Steel Corp. for alleged past and present violations of the Clean Air Act at its Gary (Ind.) Works, Great Lakes (Escorse, Mich.) Works and Granite City (Ill.) Works.
The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said it plans to fight the allegations, which it claims are false.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, 1 August, on behalf of the federal agency, along with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the state of Illinois, alleges that U.S. Steel violated provisions of the federal act and state regulations for air emissions.
“We are aware that the lawsuit has been filed and the allegations are inaccurate and misleading,” Jill E. Ritchie, U.S. Steel’s director of public policy and governmental affairs, told AMM in an e-mailed statement.
“The complaint seeks to raise issues that were properly resolved years ago after the expenditure of millions of dollars. For example, part of the complaint deals with the routine repair of blast furnace No. 4 at our Gary works that occurred in 1990-more than 20 years ago-that was performed after all proper reviews were conducted and approvals were obtained,” she said. “U.S. Steel will vigorously defend this action and its substantial financial investment in environmental controls and its commitment to protecting the environment at all of our operating locations.”
In addition to the alleged compliance issues related to furnace updates in Gary, other alleged violations listed in the complaint include failure to comply with national emissions standards at the three facilities. The environmental groups have requested that the court force U.S. Steel to comply with the Clean Air Act and related state standards, as well as pay penalties for the alleged violations.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the litigation, except to confirm the civil filing and note that Illinois is also alleging separate claims under state law.
Source: American Metal Market