AK Steel faces potentially huge liabilities as a result of environmental practices at the company''s Middletown, Ohio, and Butler, Pa., plants, according to a letter sent to AK Steel shareholders by the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) last week.
The government is seeking civil penalties from AK Steel under the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Under the statute, the court is authorized to impose civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each day of violation before Jan. 31, 1997, and $27,500 for each day thereafter.
The complaint asserts that AK Steel violated these laws at various times from 1993 to the present.
Ohio will also seek civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation of clean air statutes and up to $10,000 per day per violation of clean water and hazardous waste statutes.
AK Steel faces up to $100 million in fines and proposed pollution control equipment, and even if the company closes half of the Middletown, the fines would still need to be paid, according to USWA.
by Virginia Sutcliffe