Shenango Inc. coke battery improvements and plans for further upgrades yields settlement with EPA of historical violations

PITTSBURGH, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shenango Inc. has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to resolve violations alleged in a Notice of Violation (NOV) issued in 2006 when the Neville Island coke battery was under prior ownership.  DTE Energy Services (DTEES), based in Ann Arbor, Mich., purchased the battery in 2008 and immediately began a series of upgrades to reduce emissions and bring the facility into compliance with local, state and federal environmental standards.

Before acquiring Shenango, DTEES began to develop a plan to bring the battery into compliance.  The settlement recognizes work that has been completed over the last four years and lays out a plan for additional improvements.

"This settlement is a milestone in our efforts to resolve historical environmental issues and bring the operations and environmental performance of Shenango up to first-tier status," said Gary Gross, Vice President of DTEES. "When we acquired the facility, we were well aware of its history.  We would not have proceeded with the purchase unless we had confidence that we could dramatically improve performance and establish Shenango as a good neighbor and a valuable asset to the community."

Shenango agreed to complete or implement four key programs to ensure future compliance as part of the settlement:

  • Complete the ceramic welding of oven wall joints that it began in 2008.  This work has significantly reduced opacity exceedances from the facility's combustion stack.
  • Construct a stormwater management system for the site.
  • Construct a biological wastewater treatment system to treat water used in plant processes.
  • Install temporary systems to reduce ammonia levels in plant process water discharge.

The settlement also requires Shenango to pay a $1.75 million fine to resolve alleged historical violations dating back to 2005. The details of the alleged violations and the settlement are contained in the complaint and consent decree being filed by EPA, PADEP and ACHD in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Shenango Inc. produces metallurgical coke, coke oven gas and other salable byproducts and provides approximately 150 full time jobs for community residents, including approximately 125 members of the United Steelworkers union. Annual payroll and benefits are approximately $18 million per year.

DTEES is a subsidiary of DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. DTEES, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., acquires, develops, builds, owns and operates projects for large, energy-intensive industrial customers. Information about DTE Energy and its subsidiaries is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

SOURCE DTE Energy



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