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DEP to monitor air quality as Monessen coke plant restarts

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The state Department of Environmental Protection will take air-quality readings in Monessen in advance of the restarting of a coke works that is expected to provide 160 jobs in the city.


The air sampling will continue after ArcelorMittal resumes operations at the plant formerly owned by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. as the DEP considers the need for permanent air monitoring around the operation, department spokesman John Poister said.


A mobile analytical unit already is in the city to gather readings. The unit detects small changes in air quality and has the ability to sample for a large number of compounds.


The plant could open later this week, Poister said.


It has been on “hot idle” status since it last operated in May 2009, he said.