Environmentalists are hoping they will be allowed to pursue a federal court appeal they filed shortly before RG Steel filed for bankruptcy last month.
The group is asking a Delaware bankruptcy judge for permission to pursue the appeal involving RG Steel's Sparrows Point steel plant, according to an Associated Press report.
"Bankruptcy filings routinely bring a halt to all litigation involving the debtor, but environmentalists are asking the judge to lift the automatic stay so they can pursue an appeal they filed just a few weeks before RG Steel's bankruptcy filing," the AP report stated.
The environmentalists contend that an agreement between RG Steel and government regulators on water quality monitoring for toxic contaminants at and around the Sparrows Point mill is weak and allows for a scope of monitoring that is "too narrow," according to AP.
Dundalk environmentalist Russ Donnelly told the New York Post that he believes RG Steel's bankruptcy is a ploy to avoid environmental responsibilities at the contaminated plant.
RG Steel is owned by Ira Rennert, a New York billionaire industrialist.
"His company is ducking out of any kind of responsibility again," Donnelly told the Post. "It has become too hot to handle, and his company is moving on. This is the track record. His company has done this all over the planet."
The Post article explains some previous environmental actions taken against Rennert-owned companies and bankruptcies that followed suit.
that Baltimore County has retained a law firm to help protect its interests in the RG Steel bankruptcy.
Baltimore County, owed $4.5 million in taxes and water and sewer fees, is one of the larger creditors named in RG's bankruptcy suit.