State agency clears way for construction of Big River Steel - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

State agency clears way for construction of Big River Steel in Osceola

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (AP) - A state environmental agency has lifted an order that blocked construction of a $1.1 billion steel mill planned for northeast Arkansas.

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has not yet issued an air quality permit, but the agency on Friday did clear the way for preliminary work to begin at the site in Osceola.

The mill was announced last January but construction has been delayed by having to wait for the air quality permit.

The Blytheville Courier News reports (http://is.gd/RdpXLl ) that Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore says the action will allow builders to take soil samples and do other preliminary work.

An administrative law judge has tentatively scheduled a Feb. 18 hearing on the appeal for the air permit.

The plant is to employ 525 people and pay annual wages of $75,000.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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