American Iron and Steel Institute Thanks EPA and Congress for Compromise on Regulations for Large Vessels Sailing on the Great Lakes

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2009 – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), on behalf of its U.S. member companies, would like to thank the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress, particularly Congressmen Obey (D-WI) and Oberstar (D-MN), for working with the Lake Carriers Association (LCA) and our member companies on compromise regulations for large vessels sailing on the Great Lakes. 

“AISI would like to thank the U.S. EPA and Congressmen Obey (D-WI) and Oberstar (D-MN) for their leadership in reaching this important compromise,” Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, said. “The decision to allow for the continued sale of residual fuel for consumption in existing maritime boilers helps sustain the maritime economy on the Great Lakes, which includes the shipping of raw materials for steelmaking.”

The three-part compromise states that: 1) the Great Lakes steamships will be exempted from the new EPA regulations, as steamships cannot burn low-sulfur fuel without risking a catastrophic engine explosion; 2) the final rule issue by EPA will include a waiver provision to address either the inadequate supply of low-sulfur fuel or serious economic hardship caused by the increased cost of such fuel (the Category 3 diesel ships on the Great Lakes would be able to apply); and 3) EPA will evaluate the economic impact of the final rule on Great Lakes carriers, and issue a report within six months.

Tens of thousands of employees in mining, transportation, processing and other elements of the supply chain upstream and downstream of the steel mills on the Great Lakes have a significant stake in the decisions made by the EPA and Congress. AISI and its member companies are committed to the protection of the Great Lakes and look forward to working with the EPA and Congress toward enhancing one of our most valuable resources. 

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to our customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at

Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115