MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — An environmental group
has released a study it says links pollution in a creek to AK
Steel, a contention the company refutes in a study it
The Sierra Club, which released its report Thursday, 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 Dick’s Creek.
Alan McCoy, spokesman for AK Steel, said the Sierra Club’s
tests don’t prove anything. The company’s consultant produced
a report stating there are dozens of other companies and
plants along the creek that could have caused the pollution.
The Sierra Club says testing it commissioned shows that
PCBs taken from two sites in the creek match chemically with
PCBs found in the steel mill’s landfill.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were once widely used
as insulating material and are believed to cause cancer.
“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 complicated testing and analysis still has to be
performed before the results are complete enough to be
incorporated into the lawsuit, she said.
Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heather Lauer questioned whether the
sampling is large enough for a definitive link to AK Steel.
“Two samples — that’s a pretty limited number,” Lauer said.
She said the agency was not ready to draw conclusions from
“I don’t believe you will find anyone in the scientific
community that would be able to make any conclusion based on
two data points,” McCoy said.