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Residents protest mucky water

Dayton Daily News

MIDDLETOWN | Environmental activists and residents have collected pitchers of blackened, mucky water from a 6-mile ravine that runs through the city so it can be tested for pollutants.

About 20 people showed up Saturday for the gathering, sponsored by the Ohio Sierra Club.

The stream, known as Dicks Creek, runs past an AK Steel plant that has operated for a century. Signs warn people to stay away, and activists blame the company for the creek’s problems.

AK Steel spokesman Alan McCoy said the company has done nothing wrong.

‘‘AK Steel has, we believe, the best environmental record in not only the state of Ohio, but the U.S. steel industry by a wide margin,’’ McCoy said. ‘‘And we are continuing to vigorously defend against allegations made by the agencies.’’

Many other businesses could have polluted the creek, he said.

Sierra Club members said federal and state environmental protection agencies, both in litigation with AK Steel for environmental violations, have been slow to respond to their concerns.

‘‘We’ve made it pretty clear that we are not going to litigate in the press,’’ Ohio EPA spokeswoman Kara Allison said.

‘‘The accountability issue is a big one,’’ said Susan Knight, an organizer of Saturday’s activities. ‘‘Who pays for these mistakes?’’

[From the Dayton Daily News: 08.05.2002]

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