Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine signs useless AK Steel Consent Decree

For immediate release   April 9, 2018
Contact: Marilyn Wall, Sierra Club 513-226-9235

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine signs useless AK Steel Consent Decree

 DeWine decides studies and car washing will resolve over 600 air pollution violations

(Middletown, OH) – Sierra Club and residents near the AK Steel Middletown Works have documented over 600 air pollution violations committed by AK Steel over 5 years.  Residents are routinely assaulted by odors, smoke, fumes, black and red plumes, gases, harmful PM2.5 particulate (soot), organic compounds and the deposits of coke breeze, ash, colored particles, including kish, slag, coke, coal, dust, iron, metal and glass on their property. Fires and explosions have caused additional emissions beyond normal operations.  AK Steel has violated and continues to violate state and federally enforceable air pollution laws and emission standards.

These pollutants are known to be toxic and/or cause adverse health effects, including cancer, even at low levels.  Exposure to particulate matter including PM2.5 is linked with “premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, and increased respiratory symptoms”.  Nearby residents find it difficult to breathe outside their homes and chronically have to wash AK Steel pollutants off their cars and homes.

A Notice Letter to AK Steel was sent and in response, Attorney General Mike DeWine worked with AK Steel filing a  Consent Order in Butler County which fails to resolve or stop the violations, or provide an effective remedy with enforceable emission limitations. Instead DeWine allows AK Steel to merely study problems, and possibly (subject to AK Steel’s discretion) reimburse residents for car and house washing.

“This sweetheart deal does nothing for people’s health, allows ongoing property damage and fails to ensure that the emission violations at AK Steel are resolved” said Marilyn Wall, Sierra Club.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 8 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit: https://miamigroup.org/ak-steel/