An air quality permit approved by the state’s environmental agency remains a crucial hurdle to clear for the Big River Steel Mill, the $1.1 billion superproject planning to locate in Osceola.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will hold a public hearing on a draft permit for the new steel mill on July 30, 2013 at 6 pm in the Osceola High School Cafeteria.

ADEQ says its technical staff will be available to “informally discuss” the draft permit. The proposed permit is the initial permit for the new steel mill. ADEQ staff has reviewed the proposed permit and granted it tentative approval.

In short, Big River must receive the permit as proof that its discharges will not contribute to air quality deterioration. The review is required for Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX) Carbon Monoxide (CO), Particulate Matter (PM, PM10, PM2.5), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), lead and greenhouse gasses.

A draft of the air quality permit can be accessed here under “Air Permit Application Documents.”

A written public comment period began June, 27, 2013 and expires at 4:30 pm on July 29, 2013. Additional comments will be accepted at the public hearing in Osceola, but will not be accepted after the hearing.

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