Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shenango Inc Coke Plant Upsetting Community Over Emissions

The Allegheny County Pennsylvania Health Department monitors emissions near the Shenango Inc coke plant and has levied more than 150 citations for violations at the plant this year, including about 40 since August. DTE Energy, the Detroit-based company that owns the plant, is appealing 114 violations and $114,000 in fines it received through July.

Dr. George Sloan
Local groups want to discuss the reasons the violations occurred, whether the problem will be fixed, why the company appealed its fine and what it plans to do to improve the region's air quality. DTE, which bought the Shenango plant in 2008, has regularly participated in meetings of the Neville Island Community Advisory Panel.  The health department is working with company officials on an agreement to create control measures to reduce harmful emissions when production increases.

Emissions are released when hot coke -- a fuel used in steelmaking that is produced by baking coal -- is moved from an oven to a quenching station. Shenango has 56 ovens inside its battery.  Smoke from the plant can contain particulates and pollutants that can cause cancer and respiratory problems, according to the health department.

Dr. George Sloan, Chairman of Center Special Projects, intends to assist the community groups in monitoring and mitigating the emissions from the plant. (Pittsburgh Trib Live, 12/15/2011)

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