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EPA and DOJ reach agreement with WCI Steel on wildlife protection; $620,000 penalty assessed

Release Date: 02/15/2007
Contact Information: Kären Thompson, (312) 353-8547,

No. 07-OPA027

EPA and DOJ reach agreement with WCI Steel on wildlife protection; $620,000 penalty assessed

CHICAGO (Feb. 15, 2007) U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement with WCI Steel Inc., Warren, Ohio, on measures to protect migratory birds and other wildlife from oily waste found in impoundments (ponds, sludge containment areas or lagoons) on its property. The company will also pay a $620,000 penalty through a related bankruptcy proceeding.

The consent decree resolves a 2002 order that required WCI to remove oily waste from, and permanently stop managing oily waste at, 11 impoundments. For some of the impoundments WCI was given the option of installing netting. The order was based in part on inspections by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA. The inspectors found 34 dead birds and bats at the site.

WCI Steel is a manufacturer of custom flat-rolled steel products and occupies 1,100 acres at 1040 Pine Ave. S.E., in Warren. The company recently reorganized under bankruptcy laws. Wildlife protection measures of the agreement include: installing netting over two impoundments, implementing fire risk and oil management plans, removing sludge and adding to the existing wildlife deterrent system at the facility. WCI has completely removed eight of the 11 impoundments subject to the original 2002 order.

Under federal law, EPA controls certain waste from production to final disposal and can issue orders to protect human health and the environment.

Information on Region 5's hazardous waste enforcement program is at

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