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May. 9, 2003
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Friday, May 9, 2003

PCBs in creek linked to AK Steel


Sierra Club points to plant

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MIDDLETOWN - The Sierra Club says pollution in Dick's Creek has AK Steel's fingerprints all over it.

The environmental group is one of four organizations - along with the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies - that have sued AK Steel, claiming the company allowed PCB-laced fluids to leach out of its landfills and into the creek, making it one of the most polluted waterways in the state and unsafe for people to swim, wade or fish in.

Officials at AK Steel say their plant had nothing to do with the pollution in the creek.

But the Sierra Club says testing it commissioned shows that PCBs taken from two sites in the creek match up chemically with PCBs found in the steel mill's landfill. Those results were released Thursday.

"The report compares our two samples to each other. They have very similar patterns of concentrations, indicating they are from the same source," said Susan Knight, water sentinels project director for the Sierra Club.

More testing and analysis have to be performed before the results are complete enough to be incorporated into the lawsuit, she said.

Alan McCoy, spokesman for AK Steel, said the tests don't prove anything. The steel maker hired its own consultant, which produced a report stating there are dozens of other companies that could have caused the pollution.

When asked if the Sierra Club consultants will test other sites along the creek, Knight said there are no plans to do so.

"At some point, this becomes ridiculous," she said. "AK Steel is the 800-pound, PCB-releasing gorilla sitting on Dick's Creek."

E-mail dklepal@enquirer.com




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May. 9, 2003
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