500 employees will soon be furloughed as a major steel producer is about to idle a plant here in New York State and Ohio.

There is a long history of steel production here in the Western New York area and the news about a plant shutting down definitely hits home to residents in the Buffalo area.

It was just not long ago that residents in the Lackawanna area watched as fire ripped through the former site of one of the most powerful steel companies in the United States and now they are getting the news that another plant is shutting down.

According to Grupo Simec, the company behind its operations, the Republic Steel Mill on Lake Shore Road ( Route 5) will idle indefinitely. A location in Canton, Ohio, is also being placed in indefinite idle. A total of 500 employees will be furloughed indefinitely between the two locations.

CantonRep.com reports that a press release provided the following:

"Although Republic Steel has, for the past two years, remained in strict compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for the production of leaded steel, ensuring future environmental compliance while producing steel in facilities that are up to 125 years old proved to be too challenging," according to the company's announcement. "As a result, Grupo Simec felt it would be most environmentally responsible to do so at its new, state-of-the-art mill in Tlaxcala."

For history fans, there is a museum that is focused on the importance of and the legacy of the steel industry in the Western New York State area.

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