US STEEL: Is ‘Serial Stinker’ in Pittsburgh’s Mon Valley Beyond Reproach?

Allegheny County Exec & Health Officials Remain ‘Mum’ on Latest Stench as U.S. Steel’s Appeal of $1.8 Million March 7, 2022 Enforcement Order Lingers Like a Bad Fart

Hydrogen Sulfide Pollution Remains BAD for Days on End in the Monongahela River Valley

From October 5th through October 14th, the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) pollution level was only in the ‘acceptable’ range 16-percent of the time, for just 32 out of 205 hours!

That’s less than 16 percent of the time over 8.5 days!

Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) Liberty Monitor

GASP remains concerned about these sky-high H2S concentrations. That’s because exposure to the levels of the colorless gas (that’s recognizable by its rotten egg odor) we see in the Mon Valley can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, or throat as well as headaches, poor memory, tiredness, and balance problems. It may also cause difficulty in breathing for some asthmatics, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
If you’re wondering, “What is the source of all this H2S?” a recent ACHD study concluded it’s none other than U.S. Steel. For those who might have missed it, the 31-page study found that years’ worth of H2S exceedances in the Mon Valley “can be attributed entirely to emissions from US Steel’s Clairton coking facility.”

GASP Blog October 14, 2022
United States Steel Clairton Coke Works
Analysis and Attribution of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Exceedances at the Liberty Monitoring Site from January 1, 2020 through March 1, 2022
Days after this study was published, ACHD issued a $1.8 million enforcement order against U.S. Steel over the H2S emissions issue. The company appealed the order and the case is ongoing. Source
US Steel fined $1.8 million for ‘rotten egg’-gas pollution near Pittsburgh
March 7, 2022 – The Allegheny County health department levied a $1.8 million fine against US Steel for gas leaks at the company’s Clairton coke works that resulted in high levels of hydrogen sulfide, a gas that smells like rotten eggs, in nearby communities. Source

“Meanwhile, other than a pair of barebones public alerts issued last week, our health department officials have remained silent.”

GASP Blog October 14, 2022
VICE video: Toxic Air in Steam Valley
Link to another: Documentary

Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD)

Allegheny County Board of Health

Current Board Members (Source)

  • Lee Harrison, M.D., Chair
  • William Youngblood, Vice-Chair
  • Donald S. Burke, M.D.
  • Anthony Ferraro
  • Caroline Mitchell
  • Kotayya Kondaveeti, M.D.
  • Joylette L. Portlock, Ph.D.
  • Edith Shapira, M.D.
  • Ellen C. Stewart, M.D.

Board duties include:

  • Formulating rules and regulations for the prevention of disease.
  • Preventing or fixing conditions that constitute a threat to public health. <<<?
  • Promoting and preserving public health. <<<?
  • Reviewing and approving Clean Air Fund expenditures.

Correspondence to the board and/or any of its members may be sent to:

Allegheny County Board of Health
c/o Allegheny County Health Department
542 Fourth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

United States Steel Corporation

Corporate Headquarters
600 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 433-1121

VIDEO: U. S. Steel: The Future Starts Now
United States Steel Board of Directors

David B. Burritt, President & Chief Executive Officer
His net worth has been estimated to be at least $14.3 million as of 2018. His salary for serving in the positions of Chief Executive officer, President and Director at the company has earned an annual compensation of $4,594,200. At last count, he is the owner of more than 35,040 unites of US Steel stock. The stock is valued at more than $4,450,571. Source
Mr. Burritt serves on the board of directors for the National Safety Council. NSC helps employers create a culture of safety that will make people safer — from the workplace to anyplace. Every one of our employees, member organizations and strategic partners have one thing in common: a commitment to enable people to live their fullest lives. Source

  • Tracy A. Atkinson, Retired Executive Vice President & Chief Administration Officer, State Street Corporation
  • Terry L. Dunlap, Principal of Sweetwater LLC
  • John J. Engel, Chairman, President, CEO, WESCO International, Inc.
  • John V. Faraci, Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, International Paper
  • Murry S. Gerber, Retired Chairman and CEO, EQT Corporation
  • Jeh C. Johnson, Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
  • Paul A. Mascarenas, Retired Chief Technical Officer and Vice President, Ford Motor Company
  • Michael H. McGarry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PPG
  • David S. Sutherland, Retired President and CEO, IPSCO, Inc.
  • Patricia A. Tracey, Retired Vice President, Homeland Security and Defense Services, HP
United States Steel Clairton Coke Works

When will U.S. Steel ‘transform the future’ of polluted air in the Mon Valley?

Where is E.P.A. Region III on this ongoing air pollution problem?

BREATHE PROJECT: 10 Health Facts You Need to Know

MORE: Understanding Air Quality – Breathe Project
At GASP, we believe that knowledge is power so we put together this quick, plain-language guide to give a broad overview of what air pollution we grapple with locally and where they come from, how to report odor complaints and ways you can be an air quality changemaker in your community.

ATSDR: Hydrogen Sulfide Fact Sheet

NEWS UPDATES:

3 Day (Pollution) Weekend: Air pollution warning for Mon Valley extended through Monday morning
October 24, 2022 – The health department initially issued an air pollution warning Saturday morning for the Mon Valley for the remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday. Allegheny County is warning that along with the warm weather there is a continued air quality problem at least through Monday morning. On Sunday afternoon the health department said particulate matter in the air will continue to be elevated and the air quality program will reassess conditions Monday after the weather inversion is expected to break.

DEP Declares Code Orange Air Quality Action Day For Fine Particulate Matter For Sunday, October 23, 2022, In The Susquehanna Valley Area And Liberty-Clairton Area Of Allegheny County
October 22, 2022 – An Air Quality Action Day is declared when the AQI is forecasted to be Code Orange or higher. On an Air Quality Action Day, young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

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