Indiana proposes new sulfur dioxide limit for E. Chicago plant

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Indiana regulators have set proposed new pollution limits for a steel plant in East Chicago that’s considered one of the region’s worst polluters.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is proposing a tougher sulfur dioxide emissions limit for Indiana Harbor Coke Co. The East Chicago plant supplies ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor steel mill with the coke its blast furnaces burn to make pig iron.

Indiana Harbor Coke and its parent company, Cokenergy, reached a consent decree with state and federal governments last year under which they agreed to pay a $5 million fine, clean up lead contamination in East Chicago and curb air pollution, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

IDEM’s proposed rule includes requiring Indiana Harbor Coke Co. to vent no more than 19% of its coke oven waste gases into the atmosphere on any given day. A public hearing on the proposed rule will be held Jan. 8 at the Indiana Government Center South in Indianapolis.

Indiana Harbor Coke has been branded by regulators and environmental groups as one of the region’s worst polluters after repeated federal Clean Air Act violations.

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