The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed Clear Air Act settlement with Republic Steel, a steel manufacturer in Canton, Ohio, which will require the company to reduce its facility’s lead emissions that have caused airborne lead levels in the surrounding area to exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead. The settlement terms are included in a proposed consent decree filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. In addition to securing air pollution reductions, the settlement requires Republic Steel to pay a $990,000 civil penalty.

The United States’ complaint, filed simultaneously with the consent decree, alleges that Republic Steel is operating in violation of its Clean Air Act permit for failing to conduct emissions tests and for exceeding lead emission limits. Under the consent decree, Republic Steel will install and operate new control technologies at its Flexcast Vacuum Tank Degasser and associated cooling tower to reduce lead emissions from the facility. EPA estimates that the new controls will result in the reduction of over 1,000 pounds of lead emissions per year.

Exposure to lead pollution can affect almost every organ and system in the human body. It is especially harmful to young children, as they are most susceptible to some adverse effects of lead. This is of significance here, as there is a residential community with three schools within a one-mile radius of the Republic Steel facility. Additionally, this is an area with environmental justice concerns.


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