PITTSBURGH Tennessees governor has signed off on an exemption for steel slag that prevents it from being regulated as solid waste.
Gov. Bill Haslam. signed into law House Bill 1562, which removes steel slag and mill scale from a state code and recognizes that the steelmaking by-product should be considered a valued commodity that has additional uses and not be treated as a discarded material.
Slag is recovered and used again in steelmaking sinter plants, as well as sold as an aggregate for the construction industry.
The states chamber of commerce supported the legislation, noting it is important to foster a healthy business climate.
Glassport, Pa.-based Tube City IMS LLC processes slag in Jackson, Gallatin and Knoxville, Tenn., while Dearborn, Mich.-based Edward C. Levy Co. processes slag in Memphis, according to the National Slag Association.
The exact reason for the change was unclear, and neither sponsor of the legislation could be reached for comment April 8.
Nebraska passed similar legislation in 2013. Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C., which operates in both Nebraska and Tennessee, was an advocate of the change in Nebraskas status. The steelmaker had said that the move was a precaution that would prevent the material from being regulated as solid waste should state law change. The change also makes the product easier to market.
Almost 20 million tons of iron and steel slag are sold annually, and the United States imports more than 1 million tons of the material every year, according to estimates from the Ohio Steel Council, which last year pushed for similar state legislation.