Public can weigh in on consent decree that fines ArcelorMittal $5 million for air pollution

The public can weigh in on a consent decree that fines ArcelorMittal for ongoing air pollution at its steel mills in Northwest Indiana.

The public can read and submit comments on a proposed consent decree that would fine ArcelorMittal $5 million for violating clean air regulations.

Anyone interested has until June 20 to offer any remarks on the consent decree ArcelorMittal negotiated with the federal government to settle a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The proposed settlement is that the steelmaker pay $2.5 million to the federal government, $2 million to the state of Indiana, and $371,859 to the state of Ohio for air pollution at three of its steel mills in Indiana and a steel mill in Cleveland.

ArcelorMittal also will have to transfer five acres of Lake Michigan beachfront property to the city of East Chicago for an environmental project. The consent decree recognizes ArcelorMittal has already spent $22 million "to address sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide emission concerns" at its steel mills since federal regulators identified violations of environmental regulations in 2011 and 2019.

“The consent decree resolves Title V air permit issues — the majority of which were self-reported — that occurred at five of our U.S. facilities — Burns Harbor, Cleveland, Indiana Harbor East and West, and the former Indiana Harbor Long Carbon operation," ArcelorMittal spokesman Bill Steers said. "The issues are primarily related to regulated process deviations and sporadic, intermittent permit exceedances. They are not indicative of any systemic issues with our operations. Through operational improvements, significant investments and employee training, ArcelorMittal has made significant progress in our environmental performance year over year."

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ArcelorMittal has "room for improvement" and will seek to comply with clean air regulations, Steers said.

"We believe this settlement is a good settlement for all parties involved," he said. "It will resolve past non-compliance and allow us to move forward with a series of compliance demonstrations, as well payment of a financial penalty, on the path of continuous improvement."

The consent decree can be viewed online at www.justice.gov/​enrd/​consent-decrees.

People can submit comments by email to pubcomment-ees.enrd@usdoj.gov or by mailing them to Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ-ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611, addressing them to "the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division" in reference to "United States, State of Indiana, and State of Ohio v. ArcelorMittal USA LLC, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor LLC, and ArcelorMittal Cleveland LLC."


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.