May 13, 2014

Sierra Club Blasts DEQ Decision on Severstal

Permit Allows Major Polluter To Continue Polluting Dearborn Area

Tuesday, May 13, 2014                                   Rhonda Anderson

DETROIT—Sierra Club of Michigan sharply criticized a decision by the Snyder administration Monday to grant a new permit to Severstal, one of the state’s leading corporate polluters.   The decision to grant the permit by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality follows widespread opposition from local Dearborn residents and environmentalists to granting a new permit to Severstal, which has a long history of permit violations. 

“The decision by the DEQ puts polluters before families in Dearborn and Detroit and is an outrage,” said Rhonda Anderson, Sierra Club’s senior organizer.  “What the Snyder administration is saying with this permit is that no matter how many times you have violated clean air standards in your previous permit we will not only give you a new one but one that makes it easier to pollute.  It seems clear that public health wasn’t even a consideration in this decision. This is unacceptable, an injustice and an embarrassment for Michigan.”

Dearborn-based Severstal has been the target of 117 complaints and more that 20 violation notices with the DEQ since 2010.   Initially, the DEQ strongly opposed efforts to weaken its clean air permit, but after the state’s Michigan Economic Development got involved the agency reversed it position.  

Severstal Dearborn is a subsidiary of an international, Russian-based company, Severstal, which has far-flung mining and manufacturing interests in Russia, Brazil, Africa and other places.