Steelmaker settles with Federal Government, State of Kentucky.
The steel company AK Steel Corp., headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. EPA and the state of Kentucky over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, AK Steel’s title V permit, and the Kentucky State Implementation Plan committed at AK Steel’s facility in Ashland, Ky.
Under the terms of settlement, AK Steel will pay a civil penalty of $1.65 million, of which $25,000 will be paid to Kentucky, for the alleged violations that occurred at AK Steel’s former coke production facility in Ashland. AK Steel shut down the coke plant on June 21, 2011.
Although AK Steel closed the plant involved in this enforcement action, AK Steel is currently operating the Ashland West Works facility a few miles away from the former coke plant. Under the agreement, AK Steel has agreed to spend at least $2 million on state projects to reduce particulate matter emissions at the Ashland West Works facility.
In a press release, Robert Dreher, acting assistant attorney for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, says, “This settlement holds AK Steel accountable for years of violations at its now closed coke plant in Ashland. As a result of this agreement, state projects to reduce particulate matter emissions at the Ashland West Works facility will continue to improve air quality for area residents for many years to come.”
“This settlement promotes a healthier environment for our citizens and represents a just resolution of this matter,” says U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky Kerry Harvey. “We are committed to the effective enforcement of the environmental laws designed to protect the health of our people.”
The consent decree was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Notice of the lodging of the consent decree will appear in the Federal Register allowing for a 30-day public comment period before the consent decree can be entered by the court as final judgment. The consent decree is expected to be available for viewing at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.