Dearborn, MI: (Jun-22-07) A class action environment lawsuit was filed against SeverStal by South-end residents in 2005, alleging that the steel company was producing inordinate amounts of pollution. In a settlement reached, the company agreed to follow through on a modernization program, pay $250,000 in attorneys' and experts' fees, $50,000 in a grant to Salina Elementary, and $200,000 for a community tree planting.

By the end of 2007, Dearborn residents stand to see changes in the pollution levels that would result from the implementation of the modernizations, as part of the class action lawsuit. However, SeverStal executives say improvements began even before the terms of the settlement were OK'd by a judge in 2006. The $1 billion modernization plan is set to wrap up in 2009, but residents will see an improvement in air quality following this year's work on the blast furnaces and basic oxygen furnace. The new "C" Blast Furnace, SeverStal's main furnace, will have a bag house and should be complete by mid-October. After that, there will be a mini relining of the B blast furnace with a bag house. A bag house works like a vacuum cleaner to filter out emissions. While the bag house is being installed by about 1,000 contractors, the furnace will be shut down from July 12 through October 21, 2007. [PRESS AND GUIDE: STEEL POLLUTION]

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