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UPDATED: PA Court Approves Preliminary $8.5 Million Settlement Between U.S. Steel, Local Residents—$6.5 Million Earmarked for Improvements to Clairton Coke Works

A Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas judge has preliminarily approved an $8.5 million settlement between U.S. Steel and local residents who filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the company’s emissions were a nuisance, amounted to trespass, and were the result of negligent upkeep of the company’s Clairton Coke facility.

Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint claimed, “noxious odors and air particulates invading Plaintiffs’ property are indecent and offensive to the senses, and obstruct the free use of their property as to substantially and unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property.”

The proposed settlement calls for U.S. Steel to pay $2.5 million into a fund to be distributed to members of the class seeking the action, and “perhaps of greater importance” is a requirement that the company make $6.5 million in “improvement measures to the Clairton Coke plant in order to reduce air emissions.”

According to court documents, those improvements will include:

  • The installation of mass coolers at the pushing control bag houses
  • Battery machinery improvements
  • Refractory improvements

The settlement notes that there are more than 5,600 households in the geographic class area—with more than 150 complainants.

You can read the motion to approve the proposed settlement here.

You can read the lawsuit here and the November motion to certify the class action and settlement—which includes a map of the affected homes and entire settlement agreement—here.

The news comes at a time when the company is finalizing a separate settlement agreement with the Allegheny County Health Department regarding air quality issues stemming from its Mon Valley Works.

Editor’s Note: The proposed settlement garnered media coverage. Here are the associated news stories:

 

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