We reported this issue to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).
Our teams continue to investigate to determine the cause and have been working to contain and correct the issue. Among the work underway is the replacement of the collection bags in the facility, work which will continue while the team also reviews the bag house infrastructure and design in order to determine further repair and maintenance or design requirements for optimum performance.
As is our normal process, in addition to reporting the issue to the (MOECC) their representatives have been on-site to review the issue and have accepted our plans to rectify the situation.
Although EAF dust mainly contains Iron, Calcium and Zinc Oxides, depending on the amount of exposure it can be hazardous due to trace amounts of compounds such as Manganese, Chromium and Lead Oxide which come from the scrap metals we use in the process. The EAF dust is normally collected in the bag house. However, our environment and occupational health teams are also closely monitoring this issue. Based on their study of emission opacity and duration as well as weather patterns, there has been and continues to be no indication of risk for human impact either on Dofasco’s property or off property. As is our normal process, our teams continue to monitor all processes and areas of our facility to ensure the health and safety of everyone on our site as well as the safety of the community and the environment.
****UPDATE – August 18, 2016 11:30 AM EST****
We have received several questions from a CLC Member. They are addressed below:
Q1 Do you have a sense of how extensive the damage is to the baghouse – i.e. How many collection bags have been damaged and require replacement?
Q2 Can you provide any sense of how long before this problem has been corrected?
Q3 Has the company made any commitment to MOECC to have this resolved by a certain deadline?
A There are more than 6,000 collection bags at the EAF Baghouse which are arranged in compartments. Our teams have inspected the compartments with an automated technical system and replaced more than 425 damaged bags, resulting in a significant improvement in performance with virtually no emissions as of yesterday. Approximately 50 remaining damaged bags will be replaced on August 31st and September 1st. It’s quite a labour intensive process to change the bags and our teams are working as quickly as they can to complete this work.
To ensure long-term improved performance, we also plan to replace all the bags with special high heat-resistant bags. We have committed to the Ministry to strive to complete this upgrade by the end of November.