Liberty/Clairton

UPDATE: The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) issued an enforcement order against U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works on June 28, 2018, due to a decrease in compliance over time. The order includes a penalty payment of over $1M and the potential for two of the worst-performing batteries of ovens to be put on hot idle (thus not able to produce coke) until ACHD determines that the order is being complied with. U.S. Steel filed an appeal of the order on July 27, 2018.

News from the hearing:

“Testimony Begins in U.S. Steel appeal of coke works enforcement order,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 4, 2018.


The Liberty/Clairton area of Allegheny County consists of the City of Clairton and the boroughs of Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln, and Port Vue. This area has been designated as a separate PM2.5 non-attainment area by EPA. Being in non-attainment means this area is not meeting the federal health-based standards for soot. Since this entire non-attainment area is within Allegheny County, the Allegheny County Health Department is responsible for developing a State Implementation Plan (SIP), the plan for getting this region into attainment. The Liberty/Clairton area has a unique, local soot problem that requires the development of a highly specific local solution, in addition to regional controls applied throughout the area to control the problem.

Clairton is home to the U.S. Steel Clairton Coke Works, the largest coke-making facility in the United States and a major emitter of particulate matter in the region. Many of our region’s highest short-term PM2.5 readings occur at the Liberty monitor site located roughly two miles from Clairton Coke Works.

The image below shows most of the oven batteries and quench towers.

Clairton Map

Over the years, GASP has submitted many public comments to regulators concerning this facility. Please click here to find our public comments.