STXNEWS LATAM-Agency alleges CSN hid toxic elements in worker compound

Thu Apr 4, 2013 4:29pm EDT

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Rio de Janeiro state authorities could impose fines of up to 50 million reais ($25 million) on Brazilian steelmaker CSN for allegedly deliberately hiding hazardous waste at a worker neighborhood near its main mill. Carlos Minc, head of Inea, as the Rio de Janeiro state environment agency is known, said the company, formally known as Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA, buried great quantities of carcinogenic elements like askarel, exposing as many as 2,000 people who inhabit about 791 homes in the Volta Grande neighborhood to the substances.

"This is one of the worst environment crimes that ever took place in the state of Rio de Janeiro," Minc said.

A CSN spokesman in São Paulo said the company will comment on the situation later on Thursday.

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