Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

IDEM wants info from Arcelor about waste piles at BH facility

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) wants more information from ArcelorMittal about waste piles stockpiled at its Burns Harbor facility in excess of six months.

Following inspections on March 10-11 and April 19, IDEM officials gave the company 30 days to provide additional details about the waste piles and in particular a clearer idea of when portions of the waste piles might be recycled at the facility.

The inspections uncovered only one actual violation, however, according to the IDEM report: a small release from leaking pipes at the waste coal tar storage tanks. That violation was addressed during the inspection, the report states.

More at issue are the multiple sites at the facility where a variety of solid wastes has been stockpiled: sludge from the wastewater treatment plant, black furnace filter cake, bricks, and BOF rubble.

It is IDEM’s position—what it calls a “rebuttable presumption”—that any “storage” of waste longer than six months is actually final “disposal” itself, the report states, and “information was obtained during the inspection indicating at least some portion” of those waste piles “will be disposed as solid waste.”

The company, “in rebuttal,” has indicated that “some percentage of all wastestreams in question have been or will be introduced to the steelmaking process,” that is, recycled.

IDEM wants to know—and this is the thrust of the inspection report—pretty much what percentage exactly will be recycled and what percentage held for ultimate disposal in the Deerfield Storage Facility, the proposed landfill site currently under review by IDEM.

The company accordingly has 30 days to provide IDEM with “an estimate of the amount that can currently be recycled for use in the steelmaking process and specific timelines for processing and placement of stockpiled material into the proposed on-site land disposal facility or steelmaking process.”

IDEM spokesperson Amy Hartsock told the Chesterton Tribune today that IDEM does “not anticipate the inspection report’s having any effect on the review process” for the Deerfield facility.

“But IDEM wants more information on those waste materials to ensure that solid waste regulations are being applied appropriately,” Hartsock said.

“The steel industry reuses a large proportion of secondary waste materials generated by pollution controls,” Hartsock noted. “Recycling is encouraged in any type of facility. So if there’s an alternative use for something, that’s what we would encourage.”

Hartsock did add that the “Peninsula,” for instance—where basic oxygen furnace materials are stored—has been in existence since 1980, which pre-dates Thomas Easterly’s joining the former Bethlehem Steel. Easterly is currently serving as IDEM Commissioner.



Posted 4/29/2010




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