On May 13 Middletown residents experienced a huge boom, homes shook and a large black, brown and gray cloud rose up from Cleveland-Cliffs (formerly AK Steel). News quickly spread on social media but little has been revealed regarding the cause.
University of Cincinnati scientists found plasticizers and epoxy resins in rain water samples taken last year, near Cleveland-Cliffs. We are looking forward to learning more about these chemicals and their source.
On a more positive note, Cliffs conducted a trial of injecting hydrogen (H2) into the blast furnace. Hydrogen may serve as a substitute for coke steel mills, reducing the use of coal to make coke. Making coke is highly polluting. Green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, could turn old steel mills into a far more environmental sound industry. The Ohio River Valley Institute recently release a report on the potential for green steel. You can find their report at https://ohiorivervalleyinstitute.org/green-steel-in-the-ohio-river-valley-the-timing-is-right-for-the-rebirth-of-a-clean-green-steel-industry/
Globally, steel production produces about 8 percent of global carbon dioxide. Steelmaking also produces significant waste produces, uses massive amounts of coal and is responsible for large amounts of soot, toxics and odors. Fence line neighbors in Middletown suffer from this pollution.
If you haven’t already, please sign our petition to US EPA to reinstate the Air Nuisance Rule so fence line neighbors have a strong tool to fight air pollution. And if you have signed the petition, thank you!! It will make a big difference in people’s lives. [petition link https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/restore-air-nuisance-rule-in-ohio ] You can also follow our new Twitter account @OhioAirRule and help spread the word. You can also volunteer to help gather paper signatures at upcoming outreach events! Email [email protected] to join in!