A Dearborn, Michigan, steel plant in the USA, run by AK Steel, but previously owned and operated by Russian steelmaker Severstal, is in line for a considerable tax break in the region of US$50 to US$60 million – despite ongoing air pollution violations, reports the Detroit Free Press.

According to an online report, the Dearborn plant’s new owner has reduced so-called ‘air permit deviations’ from 24,000 when Severstal had its name over the door, to just 17.

Lynn Fiedler of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality disputes the figures and claims ‘I don’t know where they came from’.

Local residents have the support of attorney Christopher Bzdok who argues that AK Steel is a business and they won’t spend money on air pollution equipment unless somebody forces them to do so. “…it’s cheaper to pay an army of attorneys and lobbyists than it is to install better pollution controls,” he told the Detroit Free Press.