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Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation Judicial Settlement

A federal district court has ordered Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation to pay the second highest penalty that a judge has awarded to the United States after trial under the Clean Water Act (CWA) since the law was passed in 1972. Allegheny Ludlum is to pay a penalty of $8,244,670 for violations at its steel mills on the Allegheny and Kiskimenetas Rivers near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This doubled the corporations savings of $4.1 million from its delay and failure in spending money on necessary environmental controls over a seven year period to prevent the violations.

EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Thomas Voltaggio said, "this decision should send a clear message that pollution does not pay, and EPA is committed to full enforcement of the Clean Water Act."

In 1995, the Justice Department on behalf of EPA filed suit alleging numerous violations by Allegheny Ludlum of its permit limits for toxic metals zinc, chromium, nickel and other metals, as well as chronic spills of oil and grease, into the Kiskimenetas and Allegheny Rivers from its plants at Brackenridge/Natrona, West Leechburg, Bagdad, and Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. The Clean Water Act prohibits companies from discharging toxic and other pollutants into rivers and streams, but companies may obtain a permit that gives permission for them to send pollutants to rivers within specific limits.

The court's decision recognizes that Allegheny Ludlum Steel is presently in compliance, but finds that the record improved only after many years of state enforcement and the filing of the federal lawsuit in 1995.

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