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City officials and the Al Tech Specialty Steel Corp. pledged cooperation on reducing the amount of nitrates that will be put in the city's sewers.

In statements issued Thursday, both agreed that the city's wastewater treatment plant must continue to be in compliance with its permit to discharge into Lake Erie.

The corporation's permit to discharge into the city's sewer system sets limits on the amounts of nitrates allowed.

Mayor Gregory Krauza said these limits are 30 percent higher than the limits in previous permits, which apparently were not enforced.

The nitrates are a byproduct of the wastewater pretreatment process at the corporation that treats spent acid used in the pickling process. The corporation will transport its acid to other sites for the three summer months.

James Mintun Jr., Al Tech president, said the preliminary estimates range from $100,000 to $150,000 per month, which will probably result in the company recording an operating loss in the third quarter.

However, the corporation intends to maintain its normal level of production throughout the period.

Mayor Gregory Krauza said that the wastewater treatment plant will be pushed to the limit to accommodate industrial users. He noted that the city must comply with the terms of a consent order signed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the quality of its discharges into Lake Erie. The city last year had been cited in a civil suit filed by the EPA for pollution from 1984 to 1989.

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