Home > BP / TAR SANDS, East Chicago, Northwest Indiana, View of Lake Michigan > View of Lake Michigan {Regional Rats}: Increased Industrial Demand

View of Lake Michigan {Regional Rats}: Increased Industrial Demand

During these difficult economic times there are many losers, including our land, water, air, biology and the local population. This is especially amplified by the more than 40-years since the Industry’s fortunes where coupled with those of the community’s. The results of this decoupling can be horribly seen in the our cultural landscape of existing conditions,

This is what I see when I look at existing conditions and opportunities along the southern shores of Lake Michigan here in East Chicago. Below you will find someone else’s vision which is limited to reindustrialize our lakefront.

Existing Conditions:

  • A Gated Industrial Community
  • Arguably the most polluted waters in the country – the Indiana Harbor Shipping Canal (IHSC)
    • Joerse Beach: most contaminated beach in the Great Lakes and third most in the country.
  • Arguably the most polluted air-shed in the country – Lake county indiana ranking as the 9th most polluted air-shed in the country with the sources of pollution concentrated on East Chicago’s lakefront
  • >80% of East Chicago’s land-use is dedicated to heavy industry – ~50 of these industrial lands are out of productive use and considered contaminated, e.g., brownfields
    • 14% of East Chicago’s land-use is dedicated Residential – ~17% of these residential properties are apart of a superfund site.
  • Immediate access to the world’s greatest freshwater resource
  • Adjacent to Chicago
  • Diversified land-use and therefore a diversified water-use, air-shed use resulting in a diversified regional economy
And a Plan to address the impairments of existing conditions and realize the opportunities – The Marquette Plan.

In contrast this is what Bill Nagel of the NWI Times, the Forum, Nirpc, and to a real degree many of our environmental groups, such as Save the Dunes, Lee Botts founder of the Lake Michigan Federation, are promoting.

< How dare I include prominent environmentalist as obstacles to environmental, and economic progress>

via [ NWI Times ]

“Blast furnace restart could jump-start 750 jobs – MARKET DEMAND PROMPTS MITTAL TO FIRE UP INDIANA HARBOR WORKS NO. 4 FURNACE” by

ArcelorMittal is planning to restart a blast furnace and steel-producing operation at Indiana Harbor Works in East Chicago, company and union officials confirmed Thursday.

The steelmaker is bringing back online the No. 4 blast furnace and No. 3 steel-producing shop. The company said in a statement the restarts are in response to improving market demand.

Neither the company or union disclosed a timeline for the project or number of employees who would be rehired.

Calling the restart “good news,” Tom Tyrka, president of United Steelworkers Local 1011, said the company notified him last week of its intentions.

“It’s good news for our people and it’s good news for our future,” Tyrka said.

The union is in the process of reaching employees who worked in that part of Indiana Harbor because some may have left the company or started working in other production areas, he said.

ArcelorMittal indicated it wanted to idle iron-making operations on the west side of Indiana Harbor in May because of a lack of demand in an “extraordinary economic environment.”

At the time, Tyrka said about 750 employees would be affected by the idling of the No. 4 blast furnace. Local 1011 represents a portion of production and maintenance employees at Indiana Harbor.

ArcelorMittal isn’t the only steelmaker to ramp up raw steel production capacity. New York-based steel analyst Charles Bradford said companies such as United States Steel Corp. and OAO Severstal are also bringing back capacity this year.

Raw steel capacity utilization for U.S. steel mills was estimated to be 65.6 percent during the week ending Jan. 23, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. Last week’s production level is up more than 50 percent from the same time in 2009.

Although there is marked improvement, Bradford said he’s worried because a few of the steelmakers to report their earnings already gave less-than-stellar outlooks for 2010.

“(ArcelorMittal) were the first to shut down things and they’re being a bit more conservative to where the market is going to go,” Bradford said.

Bradford also anticipates domestic competition to increase when ThyssenKrupp’s steel and stainless steel processing facility in Alabama opens in the second quarter.

ArcelorMittal will release its fourth-quarter earnings and full-year results Feb. 10.

  1. Matt Balitewicz
    April 13th, 2010 at 11:05 | #1

    Thomas, your work has opened my eyes!

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