US Steel agrees to pay $8.5M to settle air pollution lawsuit

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) ā€” U.S. Steel Corp. has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a 2017 class-action lawsuit that accused the steelmaker of negligence in allowing air pollution emissions from its Clairton Coke Works.

The proposed agreement was filed in Allegheny County Court and a hearing on it was scheduled for Feb. 24.

Under the settlement agreement, U.S. Steel must spend at least $6.5 million to reduce soot emissions and noxious odors from the the Clairton coke-making facility, on the Monongahela River about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Pittsburgh.

The remaining $2 million would go to area residents and their lawyers in the case.

U.S. Steel declined comment.

The company, meanwhile, is facing other lawsuits over pollution from the Clairton facility, including ones accusing the company of violating clean air laws after a December 2018 fire damaged the Clairton facility’s sulfur pollution controls.

U.S. Steel announced earlier this year that it will invest more than $1 billion on state-of-the-art facilities in its western Pennsylvania operations.

That includes a new cogeneration facility at its Clairton plant that will feature an emissions control system that can convert some of the coke oven gas generated there into electricity to power other parts of the plant.