||10,415 people wrote letters to Richard Wardrop, AK Steel
CEO, urging him to reduce the amount of pollution AK Steel is releasing.
The campaign has expanded to include letter writing to the board of
directors, a majority of whom do not live in our region.
||The largest volunteer action day to date on the campaign
was a Gutter Cleaning Day held May 4, 2002 in Middletown. Ninety-four
volunteers helped to clean twenty residential gutters of debris including
metal flakes, coal dust and particles from AK Steel. A portion of
the dust and soot collected was sent to independent labs for testing.
Over 150 pounds of the pollution collected was taken to the 2002 AK
Steel shareholders meeting held May 14, 2002. The pollution couldnt
pass metal detectors.
|| A neighbors group, United Neighbors Against Dirty Air
(UNADA), was formed in Middletown in July, 2001. The campaign coalition
members have been working with and supporting efforts of neighbors
and workers of AK Steel, including UNADA, throughout the duration
of the campaign.
||Coalition expansion has been key to the progress made.
Ohio Citizen Action is not working alone. The Sierra Club (national
and local), ECO: Environmental
Community Organization; UNADA; Rivers Unlimited and many other
individuals and groups are working together publicly and privately
to urge AK Steel to be a good neighbor in Middletown.
|| Nine campaign members and AK Steel Middletown neighbors
attended the 2002 Shareholders meeting in Wilmington, Delaware on
May 14, 2002. All members were shareholders or sent by shareholders
to attend the meeting. Neighbors and coalition members addressed Richard
Wardrop, AK Steel CEO, about the air and water pollution in Middletown
and urged open lines of communication between AK Steel decision-makers,
workers and neighbors.
||The AK Steel Good Neighbor campaign continues to receive
plenty of media coverage: Middletown Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer,
Cincinnati Post, Dayton Daily News, Cincinnati Business Courier, Dayton
Business Journal, Channels 5 and 9 in Cincinnati, Channel 2 in Dayton
and NPR - WNKU in Northern Kentucky. We have documented over 50 media
stories since the start of the campaign.
Prior to the campaign, neighbors were not aware that 8,017,220
pounds of metal flakes, dust, soot and particles falls on them annually;
although most neighbors said that it seemed like the problem
was getting worse each year. The campaign has exposed a special
EPA exemption that allowed AK Steel to emit and increase without
consequence the amount of air pollution they release - as damaging
to neighbors and workers health and quality of life.
It was revoked by the Ohio EPA in October 2001, but AK Steel continues
to fight to keep the exemption. The campaign also documented 205
Clean Water Act violations at AK Steel in Middletown since 1988.
||The Sierra Club hosted the first volunteer Water Monitoring
Day in Middletown on August 4, 2002. Ohio Citizen Action was a co-sponsor
of the day. Contaminated and relatively uncontaminated portions of
Dicks Creek (which runs right through AK Steels property)
were tested for PCBs, dissolved oxygen and other water quality tests.
We are awaiting the results of this testing.
||ECO: Environmental Community Organization has led the
charge on collecting dust and fallout in neighborhoods around the
plant since the beginning of summer, 2002. The samples are compared
and part of the dust collected has been sent to independent labs for
||Many people have given us extra information about AK
Steel, have volunteered their talents, or simply became more involved.
We understand that everyone does not fit into this category, but we
are thankful for those of you who do. Examples of involvement include:
being interviewed by reporters and quoted in newspaper article; giving
inside information about the problems at the Middletown plant; volunteering
as chemists, teachers, photographers; and helping spread the word
about the campaign.
Graphics by Aaron Koonce.