ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- AK Steel says it has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Commonwealth of Kentucky over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its closed coke plant in Ashland.
The company says in a new release that the agreement was reached without admission of the alleged violations.
As part of the settlement, AK Steel will pay civil penalties of $1,625,000 to the federal government and $25,000 to the state.
AK Steel permanently closed its Ashland coke plant in 2011 because it was no longer cost competitive, due to increased maintenance and increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
Coke is used as a carbon source and as a fuel to heat and melt iron ore at steel making facilities.
AK Steel also agreed to undertake two supplemental environmental projects at its Ashland Works steel plant in Russell to help reduce air emissions. The estimated cost of those projects is approximately $2 million
“This settlement holds AK Steel accountable for years of violations at its now closed coke plant in Ashland,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “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.”
AK Steel said in their news release that it appreciates the cooperation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky during the settlement negotiation process that enabled a portion of AK Steel's assessed penalty to be applied to environmental improvement projects at the Ashland Works.
AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, primarily for automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, construction and electrical power generation and distribution markets.