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July 2004

U.S. Steel Cited for Clean-Air Violations

Chicago, IL— U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has cited U.S. Steel Corp. Great Lakes Division for alleged clean-air violations at the company’s steel mill at 1 Quality Drive, Ecorse, Michigan.

EPA alleges that U.S. Steel failed to apply for a permit to prevent significant deterioration of air quality for hot metal desulfurization units that it installed in 1985. EPA said the violations began in 1985 and will continue until the company gets its permit and installs the best available air pollution control technology.

Companies must get permits that restrict emissions from their plants before they can modify them in ways that increase emissions if the plants are located in areas that already comply with all national outdoor air-quality standards. These permits are designed to prevent deterioration of air quality in areas with clean air.

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. U.S. Steel has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

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 also 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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