Report Exposes AK Steel's Toxic Environmental Record

Dec. 6, 2002

Numerous environmental and labor organizations (including Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, Citizens Organized Watch, Inc., Hoosier Environmental Council, Protect Our Woods, Save Our Land and Environment, Save Our Rivers and the United Steelworkers of America) held press conferences yesterday in Indiana to announce the release of their report, "'State of the Art' Has Never Been So Toxic," which examines AK Steel's poor environmental record at its facility in Rockport, Ind.

The report details Rockport Works' history of permit violations, including at least 52 violations of its wastewater permit since it began operations in the late 1990s. It also details the facility's releases of toxic contaminants and other pollutants to Indiana's air and water.

According to the federal Toxics Release Inventory, Rockport Works was Indiana's top water polluter and, out of 21,344 manufacturing facilities, the nation's 20th-largest releaser of toxic chemicals to air and water in 2000.

"AK Steel took up Indiana's offer of over $71 million in subsidies to build what it claimed would be a `state of the art' facility," said Hoosier Environmental Council president Jack Miller, "and releasing over 12.8 million pounds of toxic substances to our environment in 2000 is no way to pay us back."

"'State of the Art' Has Never Been So Toxic" also discusses ways in which AK Steel Rockport Works has been regulated very leniently, and it suggests avenues by which citizens can get involved to ensure that the facility complies with environmental laws and pollutes less in the future.

For instance, Rockport Works' air and water permits will soon be up for public review, giving people a chance to attend hearings and voice their concerns.

Source: Business Wire