Steel Mills

Court Says No to Nucor’s Latest Challenge to Big River Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

Nucor Steel lost again its challenge to Big River Steel’s air permit. In its latest appeal, Nucor argued that the air permit process was flawed and that not enough consideration was given to pollution that Big River Steel would generate.

An Arkansas Court of Appeals said on Wednesday that it found no abuse of discretion and no errors of law in the issuance of the permit.

The three judge panel found no credence to Nucor’s charge that Big River concealed evidence from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and affirmed the ruling of the Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.

The appeal was filed with the Mississippi County Circuit Court but was transferred to the Court of Appeals for consideration. The Court of Appeals rejected Nucor’s request to consider additional evidence that would have been permissible in the County Circuit Court.

“We will review this matter as an appellate court, and not as a circuit court,” the court said in an opinion written by Judge Kenneth Hixson.

Big River Steel has argued that Nucor’s opposition to the air permit was about removing a competitor than the law. Nucor says it is concerned about the environmental impact two steel mills in close proximity would have on the region.

The $1.3 billion Big River Steel mill is expected to begin operations in July 2016.

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