Media Statement: Mighty Earth responds to $100 million bill for steel manufacturer Cleveland-Cliffs to clean up air quality around Deaborn plant in Michigan

October 20, 2023

Washington D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice have announced that Ohio steel manufacturer, Cleveland-Cliffs must pay over $100 million for air quality around its Deaborn plant. In a statement, the EPA acknowledged that “breathing lead and manganese pollution can cause various, negative health effects, including impacts to the central nervous system.”

Responding to the statement, Mighty Earth Senior Director, Decarbonization, Matt Groch said:

The $100 million settlement with Cleveland-Cliffs to reduce emissions from its Dearborn, Michigan facility should serve as a stark reminder to the company that the era of dirty blast furnaces is coming to an end. For too long fence line communities like Dearborn have dealt with the environmental, health, and economic fallout from dirty steel plants. While this is an important step in mitigating the harm from its Dearborn plant, Cliffs has a long way to go in addressing its larger emissions issues. Just this year, Cliffs announced plans to reline its blast furnace at Burns Harbor, IN whose continued operation would release 68 million tons of CO2 over its lifetime, the equivalent of 18 coal power plants. The future of steel is low-carbon and free of dirty coal. Hopefully, after this $100 million penalty,   Cliffs gets that message.”

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Sydney Jones, Press Secretary (US-based, EST)

[email protected]

+1 561 809 5522

About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global advocacy organization working to defend a living planet.  Our goal is to protect half of Earth for Nature and secure a climate that allows life to flourish.  We are obsessed with impact and aspire to be the most effective environmental advocacy organization in the world. Our team has achieved transformative change by persuading leading industries to dramatically reduce deforestation and climate pollution throughout their global supply chains in palm oil, rubber, and cocoa, while improving livelihoods for Indigenous and local communities across the tropics.