Allegheny Technologies, Inc., announced a favorable unanimous jury verdict in the liability portion of the civil penalty case that the U.S. Department of Justice brought against Allegheny Ludlum in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania under the Clean Water Act.
In the case, filed in June 1995, the U. S. government alleged thousands of violations of the Act dating back to 1990. Allegheny Technologies reported that the jury found in favor of the company on virtually all claims.
"We are extremely pleased with the jurys verdict," said Douglas A. Kittenbrink, president Allegheny Ludlum. "Allegheny Ludlum has a long history of commitment to compliance with the environmental laws and were delighted the jury recognized this. Our employees work hard to achieve our goal of 100 percent compliance and they can continue to be proud of our record on the environment. We believe the jurys finding vindicates our position that Allegheny Ludlums environmental compliance program is excellent. Our neighbors in the communities surrounding the plants can rest assured that our commitment to environmental excellence will never end."
The jury found that Allegheny Ludlum did not interfere in any way with the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority publicly owned treatment works (POTW). The government had claimed that Allegheny Ludlum had committed over 4,000 Clean Water Act violations affecting the POTW. The government also claimed over 1,000 pH violations, based on internal operation and maintenance data from Allegheny Ludlums West Leechburg and Brackenridge plants. The jury found that none of these alleged violations had occurred. As to the remaining 12 claims reviewed by the jury, involving incidents reported by Allegheny Ludlum more than five years ago, the jury relieved Allegheny Ludlum of liability on six.
Next week, the penalty phase of the case will be heard by the Honorable Robert J. Cindrich, who has presided over the jury phase of the trial. This stage involves the review of approximately 139 incidents that Allegheny Ludlum reported to the appropriate environmental agencies more than five years ago.