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AK Steel Clears Smoke Over Ohio Factory

AK Steel has spent $5.2 million from 2007 to last year on environmental capital investments. Environmental compliance costs for the same three-year period were almost $360 million.

The latest expense was for a new lance seal design installed Dec. 2 to reduce smoke opacity from the roof of its Basic Oxygen Furnace at Middletown Works in Middletown, Ohio.

AK Steel received four notices of violations for heavy smoke emissions this year, most recently in September. On those occasions, smoke from Middletown Works’ basic oxygen furnace had opacity that exceeded the 20-percent standard for fugitive emissions set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to information published in the Journal News.

Smoke readings found the violations had smoke opacity ranging from 35 to 46 percent during three-minute averages; the 20 percent standard is a three-minute average, the newspaper website reported.

AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, primarily for automotive, appliance, construction and electrical power generation and distribution markets. The company has seven steel plants and two tube manufacturing plants in four states – Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the corporate website.

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