Fire triggers pollution concerns at US Steel coke plant

Health officials in western Pennsylvania say a fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton coke works has shut down pollution control systems, and residents are being warned about possible elevated levels of sulfur dioxide.

The Allegheny County health department says fire in an electrical breaker panel early Monday shut down three control rooms. Two control rooms used to operate pollution controls, including desulfurization, are still without power Monday afternoon.

Officials say the elderly, parents of children and people with respiratory conditions should be aware that elevated levels of sulfur dioxide are possible.

U.S. Steel says it is taking mitigation steps such as replacing coke oven gas with natural gas and flaring while the damage is being repaired.

The same two control rooms were damaged in a $40 million Christmas Eve fire.

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