ArcelorMittal sued over pollution from US coke plant

ArcelorMittal sued over pollution from US coke plantA Pennsylvania-based environmental group has sued ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), the world's biggest steelmaker by shipments, for allegedly violating state and federal environmental laws hundreds of times since reopening a western Pennsylvania coke plant in April last year.

PennEnvironment, the same group that in August sent ArcelorMittal a 60-day notice letter warning it of the imminent action, filed the 46-page lawsuit against the US subsidiary of the Luxembourg-based firm Thursday, StarTribune reports.

The notice gave the company time to seek a solution to the residents’ complaints, which included unpleasant odours, waves of black dust and health concerns such as headaches and respiratory problems allegedly caused by the plant in Monessen, about 40 km (25 miles) south of Pittsburgh.

But, according to the non-profit organization, ArcelorMittal didn’t do much to address the issues outlined in the notice. "On something like the 58th day they said, 'Hey do you want to start talking about this?’” PennEnvironment executive director, David Masur, said according to the paper.

The company, however, says it has been working with state and federal regulators to "address notices of violation issued by both agencies."

Today’s lawsuit does not seek compensation for the residents. The goal is to force ArcelorMittal to comply with clean-air laws, while seeking fines for the violations, PennEnvironment says.