[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Three Indiana Steel Mills To Cut Mercury Use



Press Release
For Immediate Release
September 25, 1998

Further Information:

Phillippa Cannon (EPA) (312) 353-6218
Tim Brown (312) 554-0900
Mark Reshkin (219) 462-4063
www.lkmichiganforum.org

Three Indiana Steel Mills To Cut Mercury Use


	(Hammond, Indiana)  Three  northwest Indiana steel mills  -- Bethlehem
Steel Burns Harbor, Ispat Inland Inc. Indiana Harbor Works, and U.S. Steel
Gary Works -- today signed a voluntary agreement with the Lake Michigan
Forum, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Indiana
Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to reduce the use of mercury
at their facilities.
	The mills have agreed to inventory mercury in equipment, materials, in
storage, and in waste streams at their northwest Indiana facilities.  The
effort will result in facility specific reduction plans that will detail
pollution prevention activities through equipment substitutions, purchasing
practices, recycling, better management, and employee education.
	The companies signed the agreement as part of  the Lake Michigan Primary
Metals Project, a pollution prevention effort initiated by the Lake Michigan
Forum -- a stakeholder group that provides input to EPA on the Lake Michigan
Lakewide Management Plan and includes
representatives from academia, business, environmental and sportfishing
groups, and local
governments.  Mercury is identified in the plan as a persistent toxic
pollutant in Lake Michigan.

	EPA and IDEM will provide the companies with information on typical mercury
sources,
substitutions for mercury in equipment, and recycling options.  Both
agencies and the Lake Michigan Forum will receive progress reports from the
mills. The reports will be available to the public.  The Forum will also
promote the initiative and its results throughout the Lake Michigan basin.
	This agreement was coordinated on behalf of the Forum by the Delta
Institute, a nonprofit organization, through funding provided by the Joyce
Foundation.
	Mercury is a serious concern in the Great Lakes because it is long-lasting
and builds up in plants and animals.  Mercury contamination threatens the
neurological development of children and the health of fish eating wildlife,
said EPA Acting Regional Administrator, David A. Ullrich.  One of the goals
of the Toxics Reduction Strategy with Canada is to reduce the use of mercury
by 50 percent by 2006.  Today∆s agreement with U.S. Steel, Ispat Inland, and
Bethlehem Steel lays the groundwork to achieve that goal and to a healthier
Great Lakes.
	John Hamilton, Commissioner of IDEM, said, "As we celebrate pollution
prevention week, this is a shining example of what environmental protection
can be about.  Three steel companies are cooperating with governmental
agencies and citizens to identify, report on and implement steps to prevent
mercury pollution at its source.  We are proud Indiana is host to this kind
of steel industry leadership."
	Entering into this agreement is exactly the type of voluntary commitment to
environmental progress Bethlehem Steel pledged to take when it became the
first steelmaker in the world to endorse the CERES Principles in 1995, said
Dr. Walter N. Bergeron, president of the Burns Harbor Division.  CERES, the
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, has developed a
comprehensive environmental code of conduct to encourage companies to commit
to continuous improvement and public accountability for their environmental
programs.
	John M. Hanak, Vice President and General Counsel for Ispat Inland Inc.,
formerly Inland Steel Company, commented on the agreement saying that
agreements such as this can only come about as all stakeholders come
together in a climate of understanding and trust.  Hanak went on to note
that as we enter a new era for the Indiana Harbor Works, we welcome the
opportunity to renew our existing commitments, such as this agreement.
	Charles G. Carson, Vice President of environmental affairs for the U.S.
Steel Group, said, this voluntary effort reflects a proactive, inclusive
approach in which the companies, agencies, and local groups can work in
concert to achieve cost-effective, mutually beneficial goals.  Through our
participation, U.S. Steel will augment existing pollution prevention
programs at Gary Works where we have a continuing commitment to
environmental improvement.
	We hope that other steel companies and other industries in the Lake
Michigan basin and throughout the Great Lakes will follow this example, said
Janet Vail, Co-Chair of the Lake Michigan Forum.



                               ####

Pranas Pranckevicius
USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office
pranckevicius.pranas@epa.gov
312 353 3437 (P)  312 353 2018 (F)
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/


Pranas Pranckevicius
USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office
pranckevicius.pranas@epa.gov
312 353 3437 (P)  312 353 2018 (F)
http://www.epa.gov/glnpo/