Germany and Japan, in particular, rebuilt their steel industries after World War II, in part because of the devastation that the war brought. However, the American steel industry, including Armco, continues to use technology which was state of the art during the 1920s; this technology has several areas of resource waste and also has a high level of pollution associated with it. Moving to more modern manufacturing techniques will not only allow companies such as Armco to be more efficient in the way they produce steel from a pollution standpoint, it will also make them more competitive in the global economy.
Armco is also a major employer in the Middletown area; if the plant shuts down, there will be a "ripple" effect on the local economy which will be difficult for the community to absorb. In addition, the company's customers will be unable to obtain steel from other sources at a competitive price, meaning that the consequences of a plant closing will have ramifications across a wider area. While the company could obtain coke from international suppliers, this would substantially increase the cost of the coke to Armco, and decrease the company's competitive position. In addition, it is unlikely that Armco could obtain enough coke from other sources to meet its demand.
Armco's most optimistic alternative (although the one with the least probability of success) is to have the EPA reconsider the variance request and extend the deadli