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AK Steel Requests a Tax Break Without Environmental Accountability

Lansing Watch: Call Your State Representative: AK Steel Company Requests a Tax Break Without Environmental Accountability

Senate Bills 1162 and 1163 would extend tax credits to AK Steel for its Dearborn plant — credits that were previously provided to the factory’s former owner, Severstal Steel. Both bills were passed out of the Senate today, 31-6.

Based on information provided by the Department of Treasury and MEDC, the bills would permit an estimated $50 to $60 million of existing certificated credits to be claimed over roughly the next 20 years. AK Steel, located in Dearborn’s south end, near the notorious 48217 ZIP code, is arguably one of the state’s biggest polluters.

The air pollution in Southeast Michigan continues to jeopardize public health of our most vulnerable residents. Asthma hospitalization rates in Detroit are three times higher than that of the state as a whole.* 275 deaths per year take place because of the air pollution in Michigan.**

AK Steel violated their 2006 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)-issued air permit, releasing pollutants at levels up to 725 times higher than the permit initially allowed. Since July 23, 2010, there have been 117 citizen complaints alleging fallout and smokestack violations from varying processes at the plant; and more than 20 violation notices sent to the company.

Despite new ownership, the plant has continued to receive violation notices from the MDEQ, as recently as October 14, 2016, less than two months ago, for failing to obtain a permit and for not monitoring particulate matter.

Please call your State Representative (http://www.house.mi.gov) and Speaker Kevin Cotter (517-373-1789 / kevincotter@house.mi.gov), urging them to oppose Senate Bills 1162 and 1163, unless the environmental accountability amendment is adopted. The amendment would ensure that a company doesn’t get the tax break unless they have zero environmental violations that tax year and work with the community on air monitoring and pollution control equipment upgrades.

Detroit Representative Contact Info
Brian Banks, 517-373-0154 BrianBanks@house.mi.gov
Alberta Talabi, 517-373-1776 AlbertaTalabi@house.mi.gov
Wendell Byrd, 517-373-0144 WendellByrd@house.mi.gov
Rose Mary Robinson, 517-373-1008 RoseMaryRobinson@house.mi.gov
Fred Durhal, 517-373-0844 FredDurhal@house.mi.gov
Stephanie Chang, 517-373-0823 StephanieChang@house.mi.gov
LaTanya Garrett, 517-373-2276 LaTanyaGarrett@house.mi.gov
Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, 517-373-3815 SherryGay-Dagnogo@house.mi.gov
Harvey Santana, 517-373-6990 HarveySantana@house.mi.gov
Leslie Love, 517-373-0857 LeslieLove@house.mi.gov

*Wasilevich EA, Lyon-Callo S, Rafferty A, Dombkowski K. “Detroit – The Epicenter of Asthma Burden.” Epidemiology of Asthma in Michigan. Bureau of Epidemiology, MI Department of Community Health, 2008.

**http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/air_pollution_causes_275_death.html