Saturday, March 17, 2001

What's the Buzz?

AK unsure about Middletown Works

The Associated Press

        Middletown-based AK Steel Corp. says the costs of complying with a regulatory lawsuit over pollution from its Middletown Works could someday force the company to end a century of steel making there.

        AK Steel management informed leaders of the plant's production union this week of the possible scenario, company spokesman Alan McCoy said Friday.

        Mr. McCoy said he could not elaborate on the likelihood AK Steel would decide to end steel production in Middletown, where the company has made steel for more than 100 years.

        AK Steel managers said it could cost the company as much as $80 million for new pollution-control equipment. The company also could pay fines to federal and state regulators if those agencies win their pollution lawsuit against AK Steel.

        Mr. McCoy said a shutdown of the Middletown mill's “hot end” — where steel is made — could affect 2,000 of the mill's 3,700 jobs.

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