US Steel Gary Works facility


Kerri M. Gefeke

Holding U.S. Steel Accountable to Clean Air Laws

ELPC filed public comments calling for stronger permits at the US Steel Gary Works facility & cleaner air for Gary, Indiana

People living and working in communities surrounding US Steel Gary Works in Northwest Indiana worry about the well-documented impacts that integrated steel mills have on their health, and their children’s health. Their major concerns focus, not surprisingly, on excessive air pollution – including from asthma-inducing particulate and NOx emissions as well as cancer-causing heavy metals.

This spring, when it came time for U.S. Steel to renew its air permit under the Clean Air Act and Indiana law, ELPC stepped in to scrutinize the draft permit on behalf of local Hoosiers. We were dismayed to find the draft permit was so inadequate that it did not even meet the basic requirements of the Clean Air Act or Indiana regulation.

On April 29, 2024, ELPC, along with the Environmental Integrity Project (Indiana) and 11 other environmental and community groups, submitted comments to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) raising concerns about critical information lacking in the draft U.S. Steel Gary Works Title V air permit under review at the state agency.

Read Full Comments Here

IDEM has consistently said they cannot demand that industry do any more than what is required by law. But in this instance, we called upon the state agency to step up and force U.S. Steel to comply with the bare minimum level of disclosure required under federal and state laws in exchange for the right to operate a facility that emits pollutants into the air.

These comments, along with their in-person testimony at a public hearing IDEM convened on April 25th, offered a critical opportunity for hard-working Hoosiers to voice their concerns to their government – and to request necessary changes in U.S. Steel’s draft air permit.

Therefore, IDEM must correct the deficiencies that we noted in our comments before issuing the final permit. In particular, they must make sure U.S. Steel meets the revised Integrated Iron and Steel National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants published on April 3, 2024 (and effective June 3, 2024), and they must include monitoring and testing adequate to assure compliance with emission limits for multiple emission units including the sinter plant, the blast furnaces, and the boiler houses.

The people of Northwest Indiana have a right to clean air and a safe environment for their families.

Kerri M. Gefeke,

Associate Attorney

Kerri Gefeke is an Associate Attorney at ELPC focusing on clean air and water issues throughout the Midwest.

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