Saturday, March 29, 2008

ArcelorMittal still polluting in Cleveland

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, is seemingly obliged to be a good neighbor to the hundreds of thousands of people who live near one of its Cleveland plants.

Ohio Citizen Action, an advocacy group, filed a complaint about Mittal’s Blast Furnace C5 with the U.S. EPA in 2007 claiming former owner LTV Corp. nearly doubled the blast furnace’s capacity during the 1980s without installing proper environmental controls.

Currently under investigation by both the U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA, Mittal’s Blast Furnace C5 has doubled its production capacity again with no new pollution controls installed. At this point, the U.S. EPA is trying to decide whether enforcement action is needed.

Both the U.S. EPA and the Ohio EPA say they lack the money to investigate fully. It is difficult to accept that public health can be ignored because of money issues.

Ohio Citizen Action is quick to point out that the company's worldwide profits – $10.4 billion in 2007 – suggests that paying for new and improved controls would be easy.

There are many in the Cleveland area and around Ohio that believe Mittal will be driven away by the increase in environmental restrictions. It would be unlikely that Mittal would consider closing its most productive plant because of health complaints. Cleveland has been good to Mittal Steel to the tune of $10.4 billion in profits. And, I find it hard to believe that Mittal expects citizens to value job security over health.

To read the Cleveland Plain Dealer article, click here.

No comments: