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EPA reports American steel industry has steepest decline in emissions among nine industries

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American steel sector is recognized as having the steepest decline of total emissions among nine manufacturing sectors studied in the just-released U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2008 Sector Performance Report. The report notes that the steel industry reached a 67-percent decline of total normalized and absolute emissions between 1995 and 2006, while production increased.

"Despite rising production and product values in the steel industry during this period, emissions dropped as a result of new steel plant technologies and greater operational and control efficiencies," said Tom Tyler, EPA’s national sector leader for iron and steel.

The American steel industry has also been showing leadership on the subject of energy efficiency and CO2 mitigation for two decades. By deploying new steelmaking technologies, the industry has reduced energy per ton of steel produced by 29 percent since 1990, the Kyoto benchmark year. In fact, the United States would exceed Kyoto accords if every segment of the American economy had achieved the same energy improvements as the domestic steel industry.

The EPA report analyzed manufacturers of cement, chemicals, food and beverages, forest products, metal castings, paint and coatings, refined petroleum, ships, and iron and steel. According to the report, these industries represent about 35 percent of total air emissions reported to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, which is one of many government data sources EPA used to compile its report.