Steel 'comeback' won't help Greater Cleveland

West Side Sun
December 2, 2004

To the editor:

Mike Seuffert's "Open Mike" column (Sun Newspapers, Nov. 18, "ISG's rebirth of old LTV is great comeback story") made me furious. When LTV shut down, Cleveland was free of the last ball and chain keeping us from reality -- steel is dead. This is 2004, not the 1920s. A steel mill is not going to define our city or save our economy. We have two world-class hospital systems, a growing biopharmaceutical think thank, more theaters than any other American city except New York, and internationally renowned orchestra and highly regarded universities.

With 2.85 million people in Cleveland, including suburbs and the Akron-Canton metropolitan area, the 1,200 jobs reinstated at the ISG steel mill come at a huge price. ISG is the single largest polluter in Cuyahoga County. The steel mill was opened within 60 days of purchase with no signifiant physical plant upgrades.

In 2003, ISG released 76,960,120 pounds of toxins into the air of Northeast Ohio, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and lead. And that was only in one year. Good thing we have such skilled doctors to treat our cancers and our newborn baby's developmental problems.

A "comeback"? Like soot in our air and lungs, dead fish on our lakeshore and a burning river? It's not a comeback, it's a throwback.

Facts can be verified by visiting Ohio Citizen Action, and Ohio EPA.

Emily Koch
Shaker Heights