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ArcelorMittal Dofasco faces 13 air violations

Keywords: Tags  ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Hamilton, Environment, emissions, Ontario, air emissions

NEW YORK — ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc. has been charged with a number of environmental violations alleging it exceeded air emissions limits at its cokemaking facility.

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment laid a total of 13 charges against the Hamilton, Ontario-based flat-rolled steelmaker for allegedly exceeding visible emissions levels, with a court date set for April 2, according to the government agency.

An ArcelorMittal Dofasco spokeswoman confirmed the company had received notice from the ministry for "visible air emissions events" in 2012 but declined to provide further comment on the proceedings.

"Given that the matter is now formally before the courts, it would not be appropriate for the company to comment on the charges at this time," she told AMM in an e-mail.

The government’s concerns stem largely from an alleged decrease in environmental performance at the company’s coke plant, as well as its aging infrastructure, according to a copy of Jan. 24 presentation by the Ministry of the Environment obtained by AMM.

The Ministry of the Environment said that Dofasco’s cokemaking facility is "among the oldest within North America and has deteriorated over the past several years."

"The air emissions from (Dofasco’s) cokemaking operation are predominantly from the following sources: under-fire stacks, battery operation (pushing and charging) and fugitive sources," it added.

The report said that the Ministry of the Environment has increased inspections at the cokemaking operations during the past two years.

ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s 750-acre steelmaking complex has three coke plants, two operating blast furnaces, a basic oxygen steelmaking furnace, an electric-arc furnace and two slab casters, as well as several hot- and cold-rolling mills and coating lines, according to its website.

The company spokeswoman said the steelmaker has undertaken a "number of initiatives" to reduce environmental impacts from its operations.

"In 2012, we completed the installation of continuous opacity monitors in all our coke plant stacks and of emission observation cameras, which feed their signals to our operating control rooms," she said. "This improved real-time monitoring capability has enabled more immediate response to high-opacity events, significantly reducing their frequency, duration and severity."

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