May 5, 2008
Open Letter to Severstal Steel Company
Alexey Mordashov, Owner & CEO, Russia
Anatoly N Kruchinin, General Director, Russia
Vadim A. Makhov, Chairman of the Board, North America
Ronald J. Nock, President & CEO, North America
Dear Messrs. Mordashov, Kruchinin, Makhov and Nock:
We are writing to request your assistance in solving a serious environmental problem in the United States. Turner Station is a community that is just across a Patapsco River inlet from your facility at Sparrows Point in Baltimore County, Maryland. Unfortunately, through no fault of your company, our little neighborhood is located in an industrial area, which leads to exposures to all types of emissions and effluents. We believe that humans should not live this close to so many industrial facilities and we request your assistance in relocating. We are requesting assistance from American firms too and government agencies, but we are not optimistic because of our previous experiences.
We understand that Severstal purchased the Sparrows Point facility for $810 in 2008 and it is being reported that you plan to spends tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the facility. We are requesting that you purchase our community through buyouts of residents and as an alternative, construct a new community for the residents. We know this is an unusual request and that you are not in the business of buying neighborhoods or building sustainable communities. We are appealing to your conscience and generosity in helping an American community in need.
In reading the Severstal company profile, we see that, “In 2005, Severstal North America spent $3.25 million on capitalised environmental matters as compared to $2 million in 2004.” Your profile continues, “Severstal North America has planned an aggregate of approximately $55 million in capital expenditure in connection with matters related to environmental control during 2007 and 2008. We estimate that the expenditure to purchase and/or relocate the community to be between $100 – $150 million. We hope that your government and the American government can somehow provide positive subsidies or other instruments of assistance to your company to prevent any negative consequences to your profitability.
Here is how Severstal describes its Social Responsibility:
“Multifaceted care of people is a competitive advantage of Severstal, allowing it to attract the best staff resources, develop relations with customers, contractors and the government, as well as providing humanitarian assistance. The Company is actively reshaping its social policy inherited from the Soviet era to ensure its compliance with international standards of corporate social responsibility. Severstal regards corporate social responsibility as a voluntary contribution to the sustainable economic development of society for the purpose of improving the quality of people’s life.
The scale and social significance of the management solutions taken compel the Company to be highly responsible in its activities. In this way, the aim of the Company is to respect the interests of all key players concerned in the Company’s activities, namely: customers, local communities in the areas of the Company’s operation, employees, shareholders, and authorities of different levels. Today, social responsibility of Severstal lies within the following fields: health protection and improvement of living standards of the company employees and their family members, sponsorship of cultural and sport events, charity work. In 2006 the Company allocated $50.8 million towards social programs and charity.”
We hope that Severstal’s humanitarian assistance and corporate social responsibility will be applied in the United States. We know that there are needs in Russia and so we also know that our request is above and beyond any normal business activity of any corporation. Again, we are appealing to your conscience and generosity to help an American community in need. Our residents are surrounded by industrial facilities and over time, exposures to waste products have contributed to very negative health effects. We are mostly concerned about our children who are developing asthmas at an alarming rate. There are also many instances of cancer, pulmonary and other negative health effects. Any reasonable person visiting our community and reviewing the exposures would readily agree that it is not an appropriate place for residential occupancy.
Thank you for considering our proposal. We would like to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact us.
108 Flemming Drive, Turner Station, Baltimore, Maryland 21222, (410) 288-3785 Email