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Health Department Issues Notice Of Violation to U.S. Steel Over Hydrogen-Sulfide Exceedances

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) on Thursday announced that it issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works due to exceedances of the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) ambient air quality standards based on air quality data from 2020 and 2021 year-to-date, as measured at the Liberty monitor.

The NOV covers 25 exceedances, which occurred in 2020 and seven to date in 2021. The notice is the first step for any enforcement action, including civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation per day, for sources.

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas most commonly recognized by its “rotten egg” smell.

U.S. Steel has 14 days to schedule a meeting with ACHD to discuss the NOV before legal may proceed with further enforcement action.

The last exceedance of the H2S standard occurred March 25 at the  North Braddock and Liberty monitors. There was also another insane one-hour value (0.081 ppm) at North Braddock – which is the second-worst one-hour value since Jan. 2016 for all ACHD h2s monitors.

“GASP thanks ACHD for taking action on these hydrogen sulfide issues,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “They happen far too often, impacting the day-to-day lives of residents in the Mon Valley and beyond.”

Check back – this is a developing story that will be updated when more information becomes available.

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