U.S. Steel to Pay $300,000 Fine for Zinc, Ammonia Discharges

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced on Feb. 15 an agreement with United States Steel Corp. that resolves wastewater discharge permits issued by the DEQ for U. S. Steel's three facilities in Wayne County.

U.S. Steel agreed to pay a civil fine of $300,000 and will reimburse the DEQ for $50,000 in investigation costs.

Since taking over the three facilities (known as the Great Lakes Works) from the bankrupt National Steel in 2003, U.S. Steel has experienced more than 170 separate violations of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits for its Zug Island, 80" Hot Strip Mill and Ecorse Mill facilities that comprise the Great Lakes Works. The violations involve excessive zinc and ammonia discharges, as well as numerous sheens and discolorations observed on the Detroit River.

These violations are in addition to long-standing problems related to discoloration in the Detroit River due to discharges from the 80" Hot Strip Mill through a structure known as Outfall 009. The DEQ had previously attempted to resolve the discoloration issues with National Steel prior to its bankruptcy.

"I appreciate U.S. Steel's commitment to determining the source of the discharges and putting them to an end," said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester. "Through this settlement, both Michigan's environment and Michigan's economy benefit."

For more information, contact the DEQ at http://www.michigan.gov/deq.

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