PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People who live in Bellevue and Avalon have long complained about pollution from the Shenango Coke Plant on Neville Island.
Now, there’s hope that emissions will be better controlled thanks to an agreement between the company and Allegheny County Health Department.
Shenango will pay a $600,000 fine, with half of the money going toward upgrading the plant.
“Up to $300,000 can be offset through a supplemental environmental project, which actually controls emissions from the plant beyond what’s currently required,” said Jim Thompson, of the Allegheny County Health Department.
The agreement comes just as the group GASP, or Group Against Smog and Pollution, was threatening to file a federal suit against Shenango.
The group claims that the plant violated air pollution compliance laws 332 out of 432 days the plant was monitored.
“The worst problems is particulate matter of things that are burned up and put into the atmosphere from the coke works that can lead to things like asthma, cardiovascular problems, cancer,” said Sam Thomas, of GASP.
Thompson says the county has had a long history of compliance problems, dating back to previous management. But since 2008, the new owners have been trying to make corrections at the plant.
“We needed to specify exactly what they needed to do to come into compliance, and that’s what this agreement does,” said Thompson.