Steel Maker Will Pay $100 Million for Pollution Released

Dec. 21, 2000
Nucor Corporation Inc. will spend $100 million to settle an\r\nenvironmental suit thatm says it failed to control pollution amounts released from its steel factories.

Nucor Corporation Inc. will spend nearly $100 million to settle an environmental suit alleging that it failed to control the amount of pollution released from its steel factories in seven states, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agreement reached with DOJ on behalf of EPA is the largest and most comprehensive environmental settlement ever with a steel manufacturer.

The settlement requires Nucor to undertake broad environmental improvements at its 14 facilities in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company will also pay $9 million in civil penalties and spend another $4 million on continued emissions monitoring of hazardous pollutants and environmental projects to benefit the communities where the factories are located.

"This action sends a signal once again that the Clinton Administration will ensure that our environmental laws are properly enforced," said EPA Administrator Carol Browner.

The agreement covers eight Nucor "mini-mills," which produce steel by melting scrap metal in large electric arc furnaces, and six steel fabrication plants, where the final molding and painting of steel products occurs.

According to the allegations filed, Nucor violated environmental standard regulating the release of pollutants in the air, water and soil.

The complaint alleges that Nucor''s failure to control air pollution resulted in thousands of tons of illegal air emissions each year.

EPA also said that Nucor mismanaged K061 dust, a hazardous waste produced by its steel furnaces.

The dust, which contains lead and cadmium, was disposed of improperly at Nucor factories, where it contaminated soil and groundwater. The dust was also illegally discharged through wastewater and storm water.

"This settlement will improve air quality for thousands of people who live around these factories," said Lois Schiffer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Environmental Division at DOJ. "Under this agreement, Nucor will lead the industry by installing an estimated $85 million worth of state-of-the-art pollution controls."

The settlement has the potential for a reduction of an estimated 6,400 tons of nitrogen oxide and 3,000 tons of volatile organic compounds over eight years.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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