Steel Mills

Big River Steel and Nucor Continue Air Permit Battle

Written by Sandy Williams

Big River Steel and Nucor were back in court on Wednesday arguing over Nucor’s claim that legal requirements were not followed in granting an air permit to Big River Steel. The Arkansas Court of Appeals will decide if the permit was properly issued.

“We’re dealing with a very motivated opponent, Nucor, who wants to stop our mill at all costs,” said Martin Booher, a Big River attorney. “They have significant resources and have hired very talented and experienced attorneys to do everything in their power to stop the project.”

Nucor says the suit against Big River is not competition motivated.

“This is about leveling the playing field so that the rules are the rules for everybody,” said Nucor attorney David Taggart.”Just because you have a big project doesn’t mean that you get to short-circuit the rules.”

The Nucor suit details legal errors made by the commission and the administrative law judge in granting the air permit. Nucor alleges the permit does not comply with the federal Clean Air Act.

Nucor’s complaints have been addressed by an administrative law judge for the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission, by the commission itself, by a Mississippi County circuit judge, before a Pulaski County circuit judge and before a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Nucor has also lodged a complaint to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Nucor also has lodged a complaint against the Big River Steel mill before the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The Court of Appeals decision is expected in less than a month, according to a Big River Steel attorney.

Big River Steel is currently under construction in Osceola, Ark., with completion anticipated by April 2016. Big River will have an annual production of 1.6 million tons of hot rolled, cold rolled, pickled and oiled, and galvanized steels.

(Source: Arkansas Online)

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