Hearing set on change in AK discharge permitBy
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is inviting
residents to comment on a proposal that would alter a permit
governing copper and zinc discharged in wastewater from AK
Steel Corp.’s Middletown Works.
AK is seeking to change its National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System permit, the agency said.
A public hearing on the issue is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 8 at
Middletown High School, 601 N. Breiel Blvd.
The change would not exceed standards that protect human
and aquatic health, the agency said. But the modification is
described in an agency advisory as one that would “result in a
change from current water quality conditions in Dicks Creek”
and the creek’s north branch.
AK Vice President of Public Affairs Alan McCoy said he
disagrees with that description; he said the amount of copper
and zinc discharged from the company’s Middletown plant won’t
“We have no plans to increase the amount of copper and zinc
in our discharge,” McCoy said.
An Ohio EPA spokeswoman, Kara Allison, said Tuesday she
would try to get a response from the agency’s technical staff.
Later in the day, she said was not able to get in touch with
those staff members.
The permit in question governs both concentration of
chemicals and how much water comes out of several Middletown
“From a compliance standpoint, we have two variables to
watch,” McCoy said.
AK wants the state to measure at a flow rate that “more
reasonably” reflects normal operating conditions, he said. If
the flow measured is too little, the concentration of zinc and
copper may be too high, leaving the company potentially out of
The company also must be mindful of how much wastewater is
Agency representatives will hear comments at the hearing
and will accept written comments until the close of business
Aug. 13. Written comments may be sent to: Ohio EPA Division of
Surface Water, Attn: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049,
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.