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EPA rejects permit for U.S. Steel's Granite City Works

EPA rejects permit for U.S. Steel's Granite City Works

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The Environmental Protection Agency has rejected parts of an air permit issued by Illinois regulators for U.S. Steel Corp.'s Granite City Works and sent the permit back to the state.

The Illinois EPA issued the permit in September 2009. The Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law filed an appeal with the EPA a month later on behalf of American Bottom Conservancy, a Metro East-based environmental group.

The group challenged the permit on dozens of points, including that it excluded the impact of a newly built coke plant and failed to state how the emissions from the plant would be monitored under the federal Clean Air Act.

"Consistent monitoring is important to ensure that U.S. Steel-Granite City Works is not emitting toxic air pollutants at an unsafe level," Kathy Andria, president of American Bottom Conservancy, said Thursday in a statement.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson issued the 46-page order on Monday.

Illinois EPA spokeswoman Maggie Carson said the agency plans to reissue the permit but could not discuss specific issues.

Courtney Boone, a spokeswoman for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh, said in a statement that the company has cooperated with regulators throughout the permitting process and expects a revised permit to include additional monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with the law.

Meanwhile, Granite City Works continues to work under existing state permits, she said.

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