U.S. Steel: Equipment damaged in Clairton Coke Works fire repaired | TribLIVE.com

U.S. Steel: Equipment damaged in Clairton Coke Works fire repaired

Jamie Martines
Clairton Coke Works on Jan. 15, 2019.

Desulfurization equipment at the Clairton Coke Works facility is back online and operational after over three months of repairs, U.S. Steel announced Thursday.

The equipment has been down since a Dec. 24 fire at the facility caused significant damage and hindered the plant’s ability to clean coke oven gas, a byproduct of the coke-making process that includes harmful substances like sulfur dioxide, or SO2.

“This is an important milestone in our repair efforts and we will continue to monitor and adjust coking times as appropriate,” a statement from U.S. Steel said.

The repairs to desulfurization equipment were scheduled to be completed April 15, according to a March enforcement order issued by the Allegheny County Health Department.

The health department will now begin assessing violations since the December fire to determine civil penalties, according to a health department statement.

Those penalties will be separate from the more than $2 million in fines related to emissions problems levied against U.S. Steel since June 2018, including a $707,568 fine announced by the health department Monday that addresses emissions problems at the Clairton Coke Works during the third and fourth quarters of 2018.

“While we commend the company for completing repairs ahead of schedule, the SO2 emissions that resulted from the fire were unacceptable,” Karen Hacker, health department director, said in a statement. “Our recent enforcement efforts have been focused on addressing this situation as well as all other violations from the Coke Works and Mon Valley Works facilities. We will continue to be aggressive and proactive and hold U.S. Steel and all other polluters accountable.”

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jamie at 724-850-2867, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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