ArcelorMittal Dofasco will pay a 390 thousand dollar fine after reaching a settlement in a court case involving visible air emissions.
13 charges were laid against the company in March of 2013 by the Ministry of Environment relating to the company’s three cokemaking plants. The settlement involves six of the charges. The seven others were withdrawn.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco stresses that it has invested more than 200 million dollars into its cokemaking operations since 2010 including the installation of monitors which allow real-time response to circumstances that could result in visible emissions.
The company also has a Community Liaison Committee that meets quarterly to discuss issues related to the environmental impact of its operations.
In March 2013, ArcelorMittal Dofasco received notice that the Ministry of Environment laid charges against the company for 13 visible air emission events in 2012. Six of these charges were settled in court this morning, while seven were withdrawn.
The incidents relate to the company’s three cokemaking plants, in which coal is used to produce coke, a fuel for the facility’s three blast furnaces. The incidents were documented and reported by the company in 2012, a little more than two years ago.
During that time period and since, ArcelorMittal Dofasco has committed to continuously improving its operating procedures and performance. At the same time, the company continues to invest in both repair and maintenance and capital improvements for the plants. Since 2010, the company has invested more than $200 million into its cokemaking operations, and also announced earlier this year another $87 million over the next 5 years.
Ongoing repair and improvement projects included the installation of Continuous Opacity Monitors in mid-2012 which enable real-time response to oven operating circumstances to reduce the frequency, severity and duration of visible emissions as well as a repair program including oven rebuilds and door repairs to control leaks. These ongoing projects coupled with an effort to constantly review and improve our operating procedures have resulted in an improvement of the environmental performance of the cokemaking operations.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco has continued to work with the Ministry of Environment and community members to ensure the company both plans and reacts appropriately and responsibly where there may be environmental or community impact of their operations. To that end:
· The company held community drop in meetings during this time in which neighbours or interested parties had an opportunity to speak with top level company officials;
· The company also has a Community Liaison Committee of approximately 20 members that meets quarterly to discuss issues related to the environmental impact of its operations; and
· Since 2012 the company has engaged in discussions with the Ministry of Environment about a series of proactive and ongoing projects to continuously improve the environmental performance of Cokemaking, which would ultimately result in a mutually agreeable improvement plan.
Earlier this year the company finalized its long term cokemaking strategy which includes the $87 million investment in major restorative work at No. 2 and No. 3 cokemaking plants along with the phase out of No. 1 Coke Plant in early 2015 (which was announced in 2013). This strategy, which includes extensive work including flue repairs, oven wall repairs, as well as work to by-products plants, will bring significant and further improvement to the efficiency and environmental performance of the cokemaking plants.
The company has worked closely with the Ministry of Environment in the development of this plan and it is reflected in legal document that ArcelorMittal Dofasco has agreed to implement and the Ministry of the Environment has approved. The company sees this as an instrument to formalize its commitment to further investments in the cokemaking facilities.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco is committed to continuous improvement in every aspect of its operations. The company has been in Hamilton for the past 100 years and continues to demonstrate its commitment to:
· Ensure it both plans and reacts appropriately and responsibly where there may be environmental or community impact from operations;
· Focus on continuous improvement in all aspects of its business; and
· Continue to be a positive contributor to the economic development of the region and a responsible member of the Hamilton community.