Ark. Agency Clears Way for $1B Steel Mill Construction

Tue February 04, 2014 - Southeast Edition

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (AP) A state environmental agency has lifted an order that blocked construction of a $1.1 billion steel mill planned for northeast Arkansas.

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has not yet issued an air quality permit, but the agency on Jan. 24 did clear the way for preliminary work to begin at the site in Osceola.

The mill was announced last January but construction has been delayed by having to wait for the air quality permit.

The Blytheville Courier News reported that Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said the action will allow builders to take soil samples and do other preliminary work.

An administrative law judge has tentatively scheduled a Feb. 18 hearing on the appeal for the air permit.

The plant is to employ 525 people and pay annual wages of $75,000.