State and Federal Agencies Reach Agreement with Ashland Facility over Emissions Violations

Ends six-year long enforcement action

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) today joined with the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Justice Department in announcing a consent decree has been successfully negotiated with AK Steel Corporation. The decree addresses a 2007 joint action by the groups against the corporation’s coke facility in Ashland, Ky.

The consent decree resolved three Notice of Violations (NOVs) issued by U.S. EPA and 32 NOVs issued by Kentucky DEP which spanned from 2005 to 2010. The violations involved issues with opacity and fugitive emissions from the coke facility.

“The terms of the agreement provide closure to what has been a lengthy process. It is our hope that the AK coke facility site will be redeveloped for future job creation. In addition, we chose to further invest in and help the local community by using Kentucky’s portion of the assessed penalty dollars to make improvements at the adjacent AK Steel Works facility,” said DEP Commissioner Bruce Scott.

Under terms of the consent decree, AK Steel will pay $1.625 million to the federal government. However, the Commonwealth of Kentucky agreed to a “State-Only Supplemental Environment Project” (SEP) under which AK Steel will perform two such projects at their Ashland Works facility. The projects are designed to deter fugitive emissions from that facility and are estimated to cost $2 million. Additionally, AK Steel will pay the Commonwealth $25,000 in penalties.

The AK Steel Coke plant permanently ceased operations in 2012, but continues to operate its Ashland Works facility.

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