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Local residents protest AK air pollution

By The Journal Staff

Ten city residents joined members of the Sierra Club, Ohio Citizen Action and the Environmental Community Organization to protest air pollution at AK Steel Corp.’s annual shareholders meeting Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.

Ray Agee, of Middletown’s United Neighbors Against Dirty Air, said by telephone that the group hauled more than 150 pounds of particulate pollution collected from the eaves of homes around the city to give to Richard Wardrop, AK’s president and chief executive officer. He said he was able to speak to Wardrop about his concerns, but was not impressed with the results.

“We got the same old answer we always get,” Agee said. “We didn’t expect any miracles.”

Agee, who said the powder has a high enough metallic make-up to be picked up with a magnet, questioned the priority placed on “moral obligations” by the steel maker.

“(Wardrop) said he was meeting all legal obligations,” Agee said. “I wonder if he feels any moral obligations to the people of Middletown ... he said we have ‘no standing.’ I’m not sure what that means legally, but it makes me feel like he really doesn’t care.”

Agee said there we no incidents during the protest requiring police intervention, but that officers were on hand to prevent protesters from entering the premises with the particulate pollution, which he said will be stored at his house when he returns.



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