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Big River receives air permit for mill in Ark.

Keywords: Tags  Big River Steel, air permit, steel mill, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Osceola, Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Big River Steel LLC has received approval for its air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, effectively clearing one of the final hurdles before construction of its proposed $1.1-billion steel mill.

"The company received their air permit on Sept. 18. ... The only other thing is that there’s a 30-day window for anyone who commented on the original proposal to file an appeal before the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission," an agency spokeswoman told AMM.

"A federal procedural step is also possible that allows a third party to petition (the Environmental Protection Agency) within 60 days of the expiration of EPA’s 45-day review period requesting that they object to the permit," she added.

The company will also need stormwater construction and general stormwater permits from the agency’s Water Division. Depending on the processes it uses, they will probably need a discharge permit as well, the spokeswoman said, adding that the facility will also be inspected on a regular basis.

In July, the agency held a meeting to consider issuing its air permit to the company to construct the building in Osceola, Ark., which was expected to be issued in September (, July 12). A spokesman had previously said that once the air permit was approved, the funds from the "handful" of investors would need to be received before groundbreaking in November.

A spokesman for the state’s Economic Development Commission couldn’t be reached for further detail.

Big River Steel’s proposed mill has been supported by local legislators, but opponents said there is already too much capacity in the U.S. steel sheet market (, March 18).

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