June 26, 2003
Governor Bob Taft
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6117
Dear Governor Taft,
I am writing you to thank you for urging AK Steel to comply with environmental laws in Ohio. I understand you have begun receiving postcards and letters in your office generated by supporters of Richard Wardrop and AK Steel's status quo.
Richard Wardrop's tactic of urging letters and postcards to your office surprises me. Since May 1, 2001, the Cincinnati office of Ohio Citizen Action has collected and documented 24,746 personal letters written to Richard Wardrop and the other eight AK Steel board members, all of which have gone unanswered at the instruction of Richard Wardrop. I have included a few examples of these personal letters with this letter. If requested, more copies of personal letters written to Mr. Wardrop supporting the enforcement of existing environmental laws can be forwarded on to your office.
Richard Wardrop and AK Steel representatives and board members have also consistently ignored requests to discuss these issues with neighbors and workers who want the plant to operate in the cleanest and safest manner possible.
Let me be very clear. The position of the neighbors, workers, Ohio Citizen Action and other environmental organizations is to keep this plant open in Middletown. We have never advocated for any portion of the plant to be shut down. We have documented many ways that AK Steel can control pollution at the Middletown plant, while remaining the most productive steel plant in the country. These include maintaining all equipment and current pollution controls at the plant; revoking the 'bubble' air pollution loophole and instead complying with the same pollution laws their competitors must comply with; stopping PCBs from leeching and seeping into Dick's Creek; and, in the short term, building a fence around polluted Dick's Creek to keep children from accessing the pollution. Many of these issues have been documented by the media as well as in the release of 'AK Come Clean,' the short documentary released earlier this year and sent to your office.
Again, thank you for taking a stand to support the efforts of the Ohio EPA, neighbors and workers who want AK Steel's Middletown Works plant to start being the shining example of a clean, safe, productive steel plant in this country.
Southwest Ohio director
Ohio Citizen Action
cc: Doug Moormann, Orest Holubec, Kate Barter