A Delaware bankruptcy judge has allowed environmental groups to appeal RG Steel's plan to limit its investigation of potential toxic contamination in the waters surrounding Sparrows Point.
The groups had challenged a Baltimore federal judge's approval of an agreement between RG Steel and federal and state regulators to sample for toxic contaminants no more than 50 feet offshore of the steel mill at Sparrows Point.
The environmental groups contend contaminants have been found much farther offshore and that the company's investigation, required under a 1997 consent decree with the mill's former owner,Bethlehem Steel Corp., should be broadened.
Tina Meyers, the Harbor Waterkeeper, said the environmental groups were pleasantly surprised by the ruling, as litigation is normally halted during bankruptcy proceedings. But she said it may help shorten the prolonged cleanup of the peninsula and surrounding waters.