Steel Mills

Big River Steel Says "No" to Nucor Federal Challenge

Written by Sandy Williams

Big River Steel has asked a federal court to block the Clean Air Act challenge mounted by Nucor last August. In a court filing on Friday, Big River Steel said the challenge is a “collateral attack” by Nucor. Big River Steel received the necessary permits from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (AEDQ) to build the Osceola steel mill after Nucor lost their challenge in the Arkansas state court.

Nucor continues to assert that Big River Steel has violated the Clean Air Act and operation of the new mill will harm the region’s air quality and sicken Nucor employees. Nucor is pressing claims under the laws “citizen suit” provision.

Big River has responded “Every court to have considered a claim like Nucor’s has concluded that (the Clean Air Act) does not authorize suit where construction activity is in accordance with a permit issued by an authorized permit-issuing authority.”

“The question for this Court is whether Congress intended for (the) Clean Air Act … to authorize dissatisfied litigants, like Nucor, to run to federal court to challenge” the permit, said Big River Steel in Friday’s court filing. “Big River Steel respectfully suggests that the answer is ‘No.'”

Big River Steel broke ground for the new mill in September, 20 miles from Nucor-Yamato Steel, and anticipates initial production in 2016. Big River Steel expects to be major U.S. producer of pipe and tube as well as specialty products like advanced high strength steels used in automotive manufacturing. The flat rolled electric arc furnace mini-mill, to be constructed in Osceola, Arkansas, will have a capacity of 1.6 million tons annually.

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