Nucor permit hearing: Virtually controversy-free


The red arrow in the photo above (from this page on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website) shows the spot where the Nucor steel plant (Delridge/Andover) wants to upgrade a crane so it can operate more hours. Because more hours mean more emissions, Nucor needs state and regional permits; tonight’s public hearing at the Alki Community Center provided the chance for supporters and opponents to have their say. One of the shortest public hearings we’ve ever attended:

Less than half an hour, and it was all over.

Would have been shorter, except that Agata McIntyre from the Clean Air Agency was asked to show a PowerPoint presentation she had apparently only intended to have handy for citizen review before the meeting. It explained the crane and the increased emissions. All the agencies involved had already recommended approval of the permit, so there was no controversy to be had there.

Nucor’s safety/environmental officer Bart Kale spoke briefly about the plan, saying the upgraded crane will facilitate the addition of a 4th shift at the plant, and, he said, “20 new jobs will be created,” potentially adding millions to the local/regional economy.

He also mentioned Nucor’s history of community service and donations, a history that was echoed by several community leaders who spoke in general support of the proposal.

Only one person expressed concern about the project, People for Puget Sound representative Heather Trim. She explained, “We’re not opposed to Nucor … Nucor appears to be a very good company,” but PPS is worried about the fact that the current permit process doesn’t look at the industrial community as a whole when evaluating whether it’s OK to add more emissions to the air. She noted that, basically, what goes up must and does come down — from the “airshed” to the watershed.

The public comment period for the Nucor crane expansion will continue till next Monday; you can find out a lot more information about the project, including a breakdown of the increased emissions as well as how to submit a comment, by going here.

7 Replies to "Nucor permit hearing: Virtually controversy-free"

  • tpn January 9, 2008 (10:46 pm)

    Props to PPS for showing!

  • Huindekmi January 10, 2008 (7:42 am)

    They should tear the place down and build condos! ;-)

  • Really??? January 10, 2008 (11:23 am)

    And if your tore the place down….who would manufacture the rebar needed to construct the condos?? No one likes the manufacturing process, but everyone loves the end product.

  • gwen c. January 10, 2008 (2:31 pm)

    Also, who the heck would recycle all that steel scrap?

    I work, walk, and bike right near Nucor. I don’t like that there’s belching emissions, but the emissions would have the same effect eventually in Tacoma as they would here, as the PPS rep so correctly pointed out. It might be inconvenient to have a scrapper in the area, but this is traditionally very industrial, and I see the masses of metal that could be wasted and instead become rebar.

    They’re good people, and there’s enough industry that pollutes with no point in South and West Seattle anyways; Nucor’s still probably having a net positive impact. It might be worth making them install scrubbers or the like or noise conditions on a 4th shift, but realistically all that steel staying the heck out of Washington’s landfills is a good, good thing.

  • Pete January 10, 2008 (5:12 pm)

    Folks, lets face it, Nucor is one damnfine neighbor for West Seattle. Thye are the most heavily regulated steel mill in the US. They have spent millions of dollars to be a good neighbor. If you have a ocmplaint all you have to do is call them and they try very hard to adress it. Whne they are going to do something new they always call our neighborhood council and ask for our input.

    One thing that I think Nucor does a poor job of is blowing their own horn. When you go to a chairty event look and see if Nucor is not a sponsor. They gave in a huge way to the capital campaign for the new West Seattle Food Bank and the renovation to the old Cooper School (now the Youngstwon Cultrual Arts Center). Their employees are responsible for the largest donations to the West Seattle Food Bank every December.

    We should also consider the fact that they have been operating in that location for well over 100 years and provide quite a few jobs to the West Seattle community.

    I for one am happy that Nucor is one of our neighbors.

  • Denny January 10, 2008 (8:47 pm)

    I’m wiht Pete

  • Cliff Glickman January 18, 2008 (7:57 am)

    I work with Nucor’s marketing communications company. We keep a short list of neighbors of Nucor facilities around the country. Then, when Nucor enters a new town by either buying or building a facility, we offer this list to local people, so they can contact people in other towns to find out what Nucor is like as a neighbor. Would any of you like to be included on this list? If so, please e-mail me at

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