The Mon Valley communities of Monessen and Donora will receive grants to buy new low-emissions police vehicles.
The vehicles will be paid for from a $300,000 Vehicle Emissions Reduction Fund administered by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.
That money is part of a $1.8 million settlement between PennEnvironment, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and ArcelorMittal.
That settlement ended a lawsuit filed against the international metals company in 2015 that alleged it violated air pollution standards after its Monessen Coke Plant re-started a year earlier.
Both Monessen and Donora will receive the money to purchase two police vehicles with the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 100,000 pounds a year.
“This win-win situation is the result of work by the Mon Valley Alliance to understand community needs — in this case for new police vehicles — and map those needs to funding requirements established as part of a 2017 settlement between PennEnvironment and ArcelorMittal. It’s the best possible outcome for everyone,” said Phil Koch, executive director of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.
Officials said the settlement funds will be used to improve air quality and reduce vehicle emissions in communities affected by air pollution from the coke plant.
“The four 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles with provide significant fuel savings and reduced (carbon) emissions, positioning Donora and Monessen as leading advocates of clean air in the Mid-Mon Valley,” said Ben Brown, director of operations for the Mid-Mon Valley Alliance.
“The new SUVs will go a long way in the ongoing security for the residents of the city, as well as refreshing our currently aging fleet,” said Anthony W. Orzechowski, deputy mayor and director of finance for Monessen.
“Seeing these new police vehicles in our communities will help keep our focus on ways we all can reduce our impact on the environment,” Brown said.