U.S. Steel Seeks More Time To Cut Clairton Emissions

POLLUTANTS HANG IN THE AIR ALONG THE MONONGAHE...

POLLUTANTS HANG IN THE AIR ALONG THE MONONGAHELA RIVER AT CLAIRTON, PENNSYLVANIA, 20 MILES SOUTH OF PITTSBURGH. THE… – NARA – 557219 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More than six months after firing up a new battery of coke ovens designed to reduce emissions from one of the region’s most common sources of air quality complaints, U.S. Steel is still trying to bring the new equipment at its Clairton plant into compliance with county emissions requirements.

The Pittsburgh steel producer has asked the Allegheny County Health Department to give the company more time to comply with those standards.

“They have asked to extend the shakedown period,” said Jim Thompson, manager of the department’s air quality program.  “As far as the plant itself, emissions are way down from where they were five years ago.”

The new battery cost $500 million and was designed to enable the plant, a perennial source of air quality complaints, to significantly reduce emissions and meet certain air quality standards months earlier than government officials targeted.  When U.S. Steel held a ceremony at the new battery in January, United Steelworkers union president Leo Gerard hailed it as “the most environmentally sound, emission-reducing coke plant probably anywhere in the world.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/us-steel-seeks-more-time-to-cut-clairton-emissions-692184/#ixzz2Wi8rPcF4

U.S. Steel Touts Coke Plant Project As Good For Jobs, Air

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION COKE PLANT IN ...

UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION COKE PLANT IN A VALLEY SURROUNDED BY HOMES AT CLAIRTON, PENNSYLVANIA. LOCATED 20… – NARA – 557213 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S. Steel today formally commissioned a new battery of ovens at its Clairton coke plant, a $500 million project the company said will preserve steelmaking jobs in the Mon Valley and improve the region’s air quality.

The project is a scaled back version of the $1 billion proposal the Pittsburgh steelmaker announced in late 2007, before the global recession decimated steel demand and caused the industry to retrench.

President and CEO John P. Surma said even after the scope was reduced, the project was the largest in the history of the Clairton plant and one of the largest in U.S. Steel’s 112-year history.  He said it secures the jobs of 1,300 Clairton employees as well as the 1,400 who work at the company’s Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock and the Irvin plant in West Mifflin.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/breaking/us-steel-touts-coke-plant-project-as-good-for-jobs-air-672843/#ixzz2Jb0uFLsx

Whooping Cough Is Back With A Vengeance

The United States is in the midst of the worst epidemic of pertussis, or whooping cough, in more than 50 years, and Allegheny County is mirroring the national trend.

Nationwide, the outbreak is startling: 32,000 cases reported as of Oct. 24, along with 16 deaths, most of them infants.  The all-time recorded peak was in 1959, with 40,000 cases.

In Allegheny County, the incidence has almost quadrupled: 201 cases so far this year compared with 51 cases in all of 2011.  Patients have ranged from babies to those in their 70s, but most have been 12 or 13.

Megan Casey, nurse epidemiologist at the Allegheny County Health Department, said the local incidence peaked in June; the number of cases showing up now are back to normal levels.  No one has died, she said, although seven have been hospitalized.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/whooping-cough-is-back-with-a-vengeance-661669/#ixzz2C2MQbQW4