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EPA reaches agreement with three northwest Indiana corporations

Release Date: 10/20/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA217

CHICAGO (Oct. 20, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Indiana Harbor Coke Co., Cokenergy LLC, and Ispat Inland Inc. (formerly known as Inland Steel Co.) on alleged clean-air violations at a heat recovery coal carbonization facility at the Ispat Inland integrated steel mill at 3210 Watling St., East Chicago, Ind.

The companies have agreed to protect public health by completing a $115,000 mercury testing project at the plant. In addition, they will pay a $70,000 penalty.

The agreement resolves allegations that the companies exceeded sulfur dioxide emission limits in their state operating permit. This occurred at a time when Lake County, Ind., failed to meet national health-based outdoor air quality standard for sulfur dioxide. EPA recently redesignated Lake County to attainment of the SO2 standard.

Exposure to sulfur dioxide can impair breathing, aggravate existing respiratory diseases like bronchitis and reduce the ability of the lungs to clear foreign particles. Sulfur dioxide also causes acid rain.

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