Fetterman Defends US Steel Actions in Clairton Fire

Says Plant Must Be Rebuilt to Highest Environmental Standards

Joe DeStio
February 15, 2019 - 1:51 pm
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CLAIRTON (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Standing with several dozen US Steel workers, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman defended US Steel’s handling of the aftermath of a large December fire that damaged pollution control equipment at the Clairton Coke Works. There were nine exceedances of federal clean air standards in the days after the fire.

“They have done the best anyone could possibly expect given the catastrophic nature of the fire”, said Fetterman. “And the repairs that they’re working on, 24-7, with union labor.”

This week two environmental groups filed 60 days notice to sue US Steel for Clean Air Act violations after the fire. Penn Environment and the Clean Air Council demanded that the plant be placed in “hot idle” while repairs are made.

But Fetterman says plant engineers told him that would risk further damage to equipment and would result in worker layoffs that would harm the Mon Valley economy.

“And by the time they got everything ready for hot idle they would have the whole thing fixed up in the first place,” said Fetterman. “To see it first hand, it’s a very complicated process.”

Fetterman, whose family still resides in the close by steel town of Braddock, said the plant must be rebuilt to the highest environmental standards. “The process has been 100 percent transparent. It has been 100 percent proactive with my office. This is about finding out what the facts are.”

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