Mittal Steel: What's the problem?


Mittal Steel's Cleveland Works is currently idled. The company first announced a two month idle of its blast furnaces in October 2008. Ohio Citizen Action suspended its good neighbor campaign aimed to get Mittal to prevent pollution at the Cleveland facility on December 8, 2008. At the end of February 2009, the company announced it would continue to idle and would shift 100 of the plant's 300 salaried positions to its plants in Indiana and West Virginia. On March 6, 2009, Mittal announced it would halt operations at the mill and finishing plant, laying off 990 steelworkers.

During the idle at the Mittal Steel Cleveland Works facility, neighbors and workers will be breathing in millions of pounds fewer of pollutants like fine particles, manganese, and sulfur dioxide. Already neighbors have noticed a lack of rotten egg odors, night-time noises, and build up of soot at their homes. The current break in production and pollution is an opportunity to discuss how to establish a working relationship between Mittal Steel managers and its neighbors.

Now is the time for Mittal Steel to work on a plan for pollution prevention at the Cleveland plant, in order to make an investment at the facility before it is brought back to full production. While Mittal Steel works on plans for efficiency during the current economic downturn, pollution prevention is a key element to achieving efficiency at any facility. Companies can make money and benefit their workers through pollution prevention.

Neighbors of Mittal Steel in the Cleveland area and Ohio Citizen Action are ready to meet with managers of Mittal Steel in order to form a working relationship to benefit the reopening of the Cleveland mill.

For more information or to get involved, contact Liz Ilg, Cleveland area Program Director, Ohio Citizen Action, (216) 861-5200.