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Pennsylvania county Health Department issues emergency order against U.S. steel

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 18, 2019
The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) has issued an emergency order requiring U.S. Steel to come into compliance with its hydrogen sulfide (H2S) standard and sulfur dioxide (SO2) limits.
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U.S. Steel must submit a plan within 24 hours to ACHD as to how this will be achieved.

The company will then have up to 20 days to achieve compliance.

If these requirements are not met, the company will have to cease all coking operations.

At approximately 4:20 a.m., an electrical equipment fire forced a shutdown of control rooms 2 and 5 at the Clairton Coke Works.

These control rooms hold the equipment and controls necessary to clean the coke oven gases, and they are the same two control rooms that were immediately shut down following the December 24, 2018 fire.

As these control rooms remain offline, there is no means for desulfurization of the coke oven gas.

ACHD staff have notified local and state elected officials and have contacted school nurses and pediatricians in the Mon Valley.

Additionally, staff will be monitoring emergency room visits in the Mon Valley.

There have been no elevated SO2 levels at any of the monitors in the Mon Valley.

It’s important to understand that there is no need for individuals to take specific precautions at this time.

Residents should be aware of the potential for elevated SO2 levels.

ACHD continues to gather and review information.

Additional public notifications will occur as more information becomes available.