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Steel Dynamics To Work With The Aransas Project To Protect Texas Freshwater

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Back in January, I wrote an article about how Steel Dynamics had plans to dump E. coli and more toxins into Texas freshwater*. In a nutshell, Steel Dynamics is constructing a steel mill in south Texas and wanted to dump industrial wastewater into the river system there. It was noted that the wastewater would include toxins such as E. coli. There’s been an update and a new press release.

The press release is a joint statement by both The Aransas Project and Steel Dynamics. Together they announced that they “reached an agreement regarding the discharge of treated wastewater into Chilitipin Creek near Sinton, Texas. ”

The Aransas Project agreed to withdraw its opposition to the anticipated issuance of a wastewater permit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and agreed with Steel Dynamics to build a constructed wetlands treatment system. This new system will treat the steel mill’s process wastewater in accordance with the TPDES permit, which the new mill is required by the state to have. Steel Dynamics will add the constructed wetlands as a polishing step that takes advantage of nature’s own processes to further clean the water.

The press release also noted that scientific literature has shown that constructed wetlands can remove 50% or more of metals in wastewater depending on the metal that is evaluated. Steel Dynamics and The Aransas Project will work closely together on the design of the constructed wetlands and effluent testing will be conducted to determine the efficiency of the system.

Jim Blackburn, President of The Aransas Project, shared his thoughts about the new settlement agreement. “We are very optimistic about this settlement agreement to construct and operate a wetland polishing system. There is a lot of work to be done going forward. We are rolling up our sleeves and beginning the design process.”

Glenn Pushihs, Senior Vice President of Steel Dynamics, also had thoughts to share: “We’re an American company focused on our industry’s sustainable future and are always looking for innovative projects that complement that goal. We hope that partnering with TAP on this constructed wetlands project demonstrates our commitment to protecting our shared environment.”

I admit I was horrified when I wrote that other article back in January. However, I’m glad that both were not only able to come to an agreement but are going to work together to protect the water. I may not live in Texas, but these small steps are something that we all need. Every community matters, and in the end, that water will make its way somewhere else and eventually into the Gulf. We all have to do our part.

Hat tip to Twitter user Jo Web.

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