LTV Swan Song Scenario

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Hotline, Winter 1998

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III issued a Notice of Violation to LTV Steel Company, Inc. on March 3, 1997 for emissions and opacity standards violations that occurred from May through December of 1996. A compliance plan, required by the Clean Air Act, was anticipated in July 1997, when instead the LTV Steel Company Pittsburgh Coke Plant announced the closing of the plant. The United Steel Workers, Local Union #1863 had a coke purchase agreement with LTV that prevented LTV from buying coke outside and therefore it was maintained by the union to prevent the closing. The company and the union agreed upon arbitration in order to resolve the dispute. The decision of the arbitrator was handed down on January 12, 1998 and LTV immediately wrote a letter to the EPA with a shutdown plan. Another decision was made by the arbitrator on February 11, 1998 and resulted in a few minor changes to the LTV letter of January 20, 1998. These changes were made to LTV’s letter and plant shutdown proceeded; final pushing operation occurred on February 28, 1998.

The union and the company are exploring the possibility of locating a non-recovery coke facility on the Hazelwood site. Let’s use this interlude to generate broad public discussion and new ideas about where Pittsburgh should be heading as the new millenium begins. Maybe we can find a way to use this site, and other properties along our rivers, so that they will generate many more high-paying jobs than the few that the new coke plant promises to create. For now, residents of nearby communities can breathe more easily.

Response from the community regarding LTV’s recent performance and related health problems was overwhelming. See Problems with the LTV Mill are Old and Bad.