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Lawsuit seeks to block construction of Big River Steel plant

Nucor Steel has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block construction of the Big River Steel plant in Mississippi County.

The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Jonesboro, alleges that Big River Steel did not properly analyze the potential environmental impact of the $1.3 billion plant and did not provide all of the information to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality that the agency should have had before approving an air permit for the plant in April.

Nucor, which has two steel mills in Mississippi County, also alleges that emissions from the Big River Steel plant could harm Nucor’s workers.

The suit seeks an order halting construction of the Big River Steel plant, revoking the company’s permit, assessing civil penalties against the company and awarding Nucor attorney’s fees and costs.

Nucor raised numerous objections to the plant during the permitting process. Big River Steel CEO John Correnti said in April that Nucor’s objections were “about competition,” not air quality.

The mill is expected to employ 545 workers at an average annual salary of $75,000. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for this fall.



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