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EPA cites Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel for clean-air violations

Release Date: 06/21/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254,

No. 06-OPA106

CHICAGO (June 21, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Corp. for alleged clean-air violations at the company's steel mills in Steubenville and Mingo Junction, Ohio.

EPA alleges that WPSC exceeded limits on opacity, or the amount of light obscured by particulates (smoke, dust, ash), from several processes at the mill. In addition, EPA said WPSC exceeded limits on sulfur dioxide emissions.

"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "We will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."

These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. WPSC has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most.

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 can cause acid rain and contribute to fine particle pollution. Children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions are the most sensitive to sulfur dioxide.

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