Activists target AK in videoBy Thomas Gnau, Journal
Business Writer, E-mail: email@example.com
Ohio environmental activists are again spotlighting AK Steel
Corp. and the pollution they claim the company produces — this time
with a documentary video.
A 31-minute videotape titled “AK Come Clean” shows several
activists and Middletown residents sharing their concerns about what
they say is air pollution in the city’s Oneida area, near AK’s
Middletown Works, and pollution in Dicks Creek, which flows past
This kind of attention is nothing new for AK. Last year, in a
publication titled “Leaving Our Communities at Risk,” the Sierra
Club profiled Middletown residents who live or lived near Middletown
Rachael Belz, of Ohio Citizen Action, said Tuesday there’s a
purpose behind the attention.
“We felt that there were so many stories we were hearing, stories
that needed to be told,” Belz said.
Asked if the strategy was drawing national attention to AK and
Middletown, where AK is based, Belz said: “I think it’s starting to.
I think it’s just starting.”
The video shows activists and at least two residents trying to
deliver samples of what they said was pollution to AK’s annual
shareholder meeting in Wilmington, Del., last year.
While Belz said some were able to attend a open portion of the
meeting, the video shows a security guard blocking the visitors from
bringing jars and plastic bags into a hotel where the meeting was
The video opens with activists donning hazardous-material suits
last August to take soil and water samples from Dicks Creek.
Also last summer, an AK spokesman said Marilyn Wall, of the
Sierra Club’s Ohio chapter, trespassed on AK property to collect
Asked if activists have definitive results from any tests of
those samples, Belz said Tuesday, “We’re getting there.”
Belz said “a lab in Canada” is working to “fingerprint” samples
in a way that will identify the source of any pollution. She said
she hoped to have more information in coming weeks.
The U.S. and Ohio environmental protection agencies are suing AK
in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati for alleged violations of
environmental laws. The suit may go to trial late this year or early
in 2004, if a court scheduling order drafted earlier this year is
AK Vice President of Public Affairs Alan McCoy declined to
comment, saying he has not seen the video.