NEW YORK Nucor
Corp. has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency administrator Gina McCarthy aimed at forcing her to
reach a decision regarding the steelmakers appeal of an
operating permit issued to the proposed Big River Steel LLC
facility in Osceola, Ark.
N.C.-based steelmakerwhich operates Nucor Steel-Hickman
and Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., both in Arkansas Mississippi
Countyclaims the operating permit for Big River
Steels proposed $1.1-billion steel mill impacts its
operations because all three sites are within the same Clean
Air Act Air quality control region, it said in documents filed
Feb. 11 in U.S. District Court for the District of
Steel-Hickman) and (Nucor-Yamato Steel) mills are located in
the same county and approximately 20 miles northeast of the
site of the proposed (Big River Steel) facility," Nucor said.
"Numerous businesses that support the (Nucor Steel-Arkansas)
and (Nucor-Yamato Steel) mills also are located in the
Northeast Arkansas Intrastate Air Quality Control Region and in
Mississippi County, and operate under air permits issued by
(the) Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)."
A representative from
the EPAs office couldnt be reached due to
weather-related closures of federal offices Feb. 13. Nucor also
could not be reached.
Under the Clean Air
Act requirements, the EPA must respond to petitions within 60
days. However, Nucor alleges that the EPAs delay is
hurting the company.
administrators failure to grant or deny Nucors
petition also injures Nucor because it denies Nucor a response
to the petition that the Clean Air Act entitles Nucor to
receive," the company said in court documents.
The ADEQ issued its
Title V Operating permit to Big River Steel last June. Nucor
filed a petition in October, which would have set a deadline
for Dec. 10.
The Big River Steel
project has faced a number of snags since it was announced last
year, including an air permit appeal from Nucor that pushed
groundbreaking at least into the first quarter (
amm.com, Nov. 4).
Nucor told state
legislators last March that the project would be disruptive
because it came at a time when the market was facing oversupply
amm.com, March 18).
If approved, steel
industry veteran John D. Correntis Big River Steel mill
would produce hot-rolled, cold-rolled, galvanized, and pickled
and oil coil for the automotive sector; grain- and
nongrain-oriented electrical steels for the electrical sector;
and substrate for the pipe and tube sector. Big Rivers
mill would have an annual capacity of 1.7 million tons and the
ability to make 76- to 78-inch-wide by 1-inch-thick coils.
A hearing on
Nucors appeal of Big Rivers air permit has been set
for the week of Feb. 18, an administrative law judge in
Arkansas previously told AMM.
Last month, the
Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission lifted a stay
on Big Rivers air permit order that blocked construction,
a move that allowed the company to perform limited work that
included surveying and taking soil samples (
amm.com, Jan. 27).