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Shenango asks judge to dismiss suit by environmental group

| Monday, July 21, 2014, 11:18 p.m.

Attorneys for Shenango Inc. have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the Neville Island coke plant by Group Against Smog and Pollution, a Garfield-based nonprofit.

Shenango's attorneys argue that the company is addressing emission violations through settlements reached with federal, state and Allegheny County agencies.

Shenango and the county Health Department reached an agreement in April that requires the company to pay a $300,000 fine and spend more than $1 million on pollution control upgrades. County and third-party inspectors monitor the facility daily. The facility is under a 2012 state and federal consent decree.

“The (department's) enforcement efforts, through its penalty assessment and inducement of corrective action, have culminated in bringing Shenango into compliance,” attorneys wrote in the brief filed on Friday in U.S. District Court.

GASP's attorneys did not comment on Monday.

The lawsuit, filed in May, claims that emissions from Shenango's oven doors and combustion stacks violate Clean Air Act and county emission regulations, and that federal, state and local officials have not gone far enough to stop the pollution.

Randi Berris, a spokeswoman for DTE Energy, a Michigan-based utility that purchased Shenango in 2008, said inspections and a nearly 100 percent compliance record since the April agreement show repairs and changes at the plant are working.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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