AK Steel Completes Phase One of Middletown Works Environmental Project Ahead of Schedule

Middletown, OH, April 26, 2005—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) said today that installation of a new emission control system on its Middletown blast furnace has been completed nearly one month ahead of schedule. The blast furnace project is the first phase of a $66 million capital expenditure by AK Steel to install additional air emission controls at its Middletown Works in order to meet the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards of the federal Clean Air Act.  AK Steel said that the new system   will capture approximately 90% of the fugitive air emissions at the blast furnace cast house, or about 300 tons of non-hazardous dust per year.

  “Completion of the first phase of our MACT project, ahead of schedule, underscores AK Steel’s commitment to steelmaking at Middletown Works, and just how seriously we shoulder our responsibility to the Middletown community and environmental stewardship,” said James L. Wainscott, president and CEO of AK Steel.  “Progress continues on the companion project for new air emission controls on the basic oxygen furnaces, and we are equally committed to meeting the May 2006 deadline for that project.”  

Financing assistance for the project has been provided by a $62 million industrial revenue bond issued through the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA), and a $5 million loan from the Ohio Department of Development. 

“We appreciate the continuing assistance of Governor Bob Taft and his administration with this project, which is helping preserve both the environment and good manufacturing jobs in Middletown,” said Mr. Wainscott.

Installation of the new emission controls is a major component of a landmark settlement between AK Steel and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) that the parties reached in March of 2004.  As part of the settlement, AK Steel also implemented a complaint response system to address the concerns of neighbors living near Middletown Works, including a cleaning program for vehicle and home exteriors that are determined to be affected by dust from the blast furnace and basic oxygen furnace operations. 

AK Steel also enhanced its plant-perimeter green belt by planting several hundred new trees and agreed to continue voluntarily an in-plant bus service for employees.  The OEPA estimates the additional trees annually remove four tons of carbon dioxide from the air, while the employee bus service eliminates approximately 30 tons of dust per year from the air from reduced plant traffic.  

Headquartered in Middletown, AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products for automotive, appliance, construction and manufacturing markets, as well as tubular steel products.