September 29, 2016 / 4:11 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil grants formal operating license to Thyssenkrupp CSA steel mill

(Adds context with last week’s injunction)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Rio de Janeiro’s state environmental authority has granted a definitive operating license to Thyssenkrupp’s CSA steel mill, a note published in the state’s official gazette said on Thursday.

The mill had been running on provisional licenses for the past six years, during which time it regularly attracted criticism from environmentalists and prosecutors.

Thyssenkrupp confirmed the license had been granted in a statement, adding it had fulfilled all environmental obligations.

Last week, a Brazilian judge issued a temporary injunction stopping the state government from granting the permanent operating license after prosecutors said a more thorough environmental assessment was needed. The injunction was lifted two days later.

The 5-million-tonne-a-year Cia Siderurgica do Atlantico has been plagued by problems since it was built. Planned during Brazil’s commodities boom, it opened after construction problems and massive budget increases, only to be hit by a global glut in steel.

Nearby residents in the suburbs of the City of Rio de Janeiro were bothered by dust, soot and particulate problems that plagued the mill in its early years. This led to fines and court-ordered shutdowns. Residents complained of problems ranging from respiratory woes to contaminated water.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alan Crosby

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