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BOARD ORDER LIFTED: REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD AND USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES BEAT ENVIRONMENTAL DEADLINE

 SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was jointly released by representatives of the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and USS-POSCO Industries (UPI) today:
 In a success story for aggressive action by the RWQCB and progressive environmental management at UPI, the RWQCB today certified achievement of water quality goals by UPI six months ahead of schedule. As a result, the RWQCB lifted a compliance order it had imposed on the company.
 Noted as a model for cooperation between industry and environmental regulators, the joint efforts of UPI and RWQCB staff members eliminated short- and long-term water discharge compliance problems associated with the company's steel finishing operations. Rather than requiring huge investments in environmental control equipment, however, the solutions were mainly found by "working smarter" through implementing new management practices.
 "This is the wave of the future in water quality protection, and a great example of how pollution prevention can work," said Steve Ritchie, RWQCB executive officer.
 The board order was originally adopted on Sept. 18, 1991. This action resulted from the self-monitoring program conducted by UPI and voluntary reporting to the Water Board of instances in which UPI found it was not in compliance with its water discharge permits. The order set forth a program for identifying and correcting the source of the problems.
 "The Water Board exercised its responsibility by enforcing the regulations, but we also found they were prepared to work with us on our overall approach to managing environmental quality," said W.M.E. Haley, vice president of environmental engineering and quality management systems for UPI.
 Following the program detailed in the order, UPI conducted a thorough scientific review of the fluids used in its steel processing operations. This research revealed that the major compliance problem was caused by a specific constituent in a cleaning agent. The cleaner was reformulated, tested to ensure that normal use would not create risk for aquatic animals and then put into use.
 In addition to the immediate improvement, UPI worked with the RWQCB to create long-term strategies for eliminating the potential for future water quality problems. These include new product review procedures, source control programs and new treatment systems and employee training programs.
 "This is how the regulatory process is supposed to work," said Haley. "Responsible businesses, like UPI, are prepared to fix problems that might occur, and we found that the Water Board's approach to solving this problem was far more effective than the punitive enforcement approach."
 USS-POSCO Industries is California's largest steel finishing plant, employing more than 1,000 workers at its Pittsburg, Calif. facility. The company is a major supplier to the construction, manufacturing and food packaging industries.
 USS-POSCO Industries is a joint venture between the ultimate owners, USX Corp. and Pohang Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. of the Republic of Korea.
 -0- 12/16/92
 /CONTACT: Larry W. Williams of Healy-Williams, 415-546-6166, for USS-POSCO; or Steven Ritchie, executive officer of the RWQCB, 510-286-0516/


CO: USS-POSCO Industries; Regional Water Quality Control Board ST: California IN: MNG SU:

GT-SG -- SF003 -- 7767 12/16/92 13:36 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1992
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