Pittsburgh based environmental group GASP has disclosed that US Steel has paid Environmental Protection Agency and the Allegheny County Health Department USD 1.5 million penalties under settlement decree for pollution at Edgar Thomson Facility in in Braddock in Pennsylvania, which includes Clairton Coke Works. GASP said “By now, the news has been widely reported that County and federal air quality regulators have entered into a proposed consent decree with US Steel to settle years of air quality violations at its Edgar Thomson Plant. The proposed decree signed and sealed by the Mon Valley’s most egregious air polluter, the Environmental Protection Agency) and Allegheny County Health Department calls for US Steel to pay a USD 1.5 million civil penalty and make numerous improvements to the North Braddock facility. But the devil, as they say, is in the details, and there are a lot of details.”The consent decree addressed numerous Clean Air Act violations dating back to 2016 at the steelmaking facility known as Edgar Thomson Works that occupies about 250 acres and employs about 900 workers. The one-mile radius around the facility is an area of potential environmental justice concern, exceeding the state average for the percentage of low-income populations and for minority populations. This Consent Decree was to be lodged with the Court for a period of not less than 30 Days for public notice and comment. The United States reserves the right to withdraw or withhold its consent if the comments regarding the Consent Decree disclose facts or considerations indicating that the Consent Decree is inappropriate, improper, or inadequate.Under the settlement, US Steel was required to make numerous improvements in training, monitoring and work practices to increase compliance and timely response to air pollution. Additionally, the company was tasked with conducting studies on potential improvements to its pollution control systems. The proposed consent decree had additional monitoring requirements for H2S and SO2. US Steel personnel must inspect the blast furnace slag pit spray systems every shift and document the condition of the slag prior to load-out. US Steel must also install, operate, and maintain a continuous SO2 monitor for emissions from the Plant’s Riley Boilers which burn blast furnace gas, coke oven gas and natural gas to generate steam, heat, and electricity for the plant. There are also additional reporting, record-keeping, and data-sharing requirements for both monitoring schemes.The primary pollutant of concern is particulate matter, including PM 2.5. Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems. Some particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream. Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) pose the greatest risk to health, including susceptibility to respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory distress, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.The Edgar Thomson Steel Works is a steel mill in the Pittsburgh area communities of Braddock and North Braddock in Pennsylvania. It has been active since 1872. It is currently owned by US Steel and is known as Mon Valley Works Edgar Thomson Plant. Mon Valley Works has an annual raw steel production capability of 2.9 million net tons.