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RG Steel judge asked to allow environmental appeal

DOVER, Del. — Environmentalists are asking a Delaware bankruptcy judge for permission to pursue a federal court appeal in a dispute involving RG Steel’s steel mill in Sparrows Point.

RG Steel, the nation’s fourth-largest flat-rolled steel manufacturer, sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware last month.

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 appeal challenges the approval by a federal judge in Maryland of an agreement between RG Steel and government regulators regarding water-quality monitoring for toxic contaminants near the Sparrows Point mill outside Baltimore. Environmentalists contend that the scope of the monitoring is too narrow.