LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Nucor Steel is trying to block the opening of a competing $1.1 billion steel mill in northeast Arkansas by objecting to Big River Steel's requests for environmental permits.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission spokesman Joe Holmes said Monday the schedule for starting construction is being pushed back to the first quarter 2014 as a result. Construction was to have started this year.
Nucor claims that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has a conflict of interest in regulating the plant because the state has pledged funding to help get the mill built. Nucor also claims the agency lacked key information when it approved the permit.
The mill was announced in January. Organizers say it will employ 525 people earning an average of $75,000 per year and create hundreds of construction jobs.