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Re: E-M:/ Steel Recycling?

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

At 10:16 PM 1/24/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from anne l-g <aleavitt@umich.edu>
>I am student at the University of Michigan and am researching the
>environmental downside to the steel recycling plant that is thinking of
>locating in Flint.  I am wondering if anyone knows more about the steel
>recycling process and what kinds of things these plants typically
>(rather than claim to) emit, as well as where I might be able to learn
>more about the harm that they cause.  Any further information on this
>would be greatly appreciated.
>Anne Leavitt-Gruberger   

I've been taking a first, very preliminary look at this plant.   

An electric arc furnace accepting scrap steel poses potential 
emissions of particulate matter, toxic metals, and volatile 
organic compounds.

The biggest problem I see so far with this plant is that it does not 
have any emission controls for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
VOCs are released from such facilities when scrap containing
oil, grease, paint or other organic matrix contaminants are 
charged to a metal melting furnace.   The organics are flashed
off in this process, and the plant as proposed will release 
any such organics that do find their way into the metal melting
furnace on an uncontrolled basis.

The applicant is proposing to screen incoming scrap steel
and to not accept certain items likely to generate VOCs
as outlined above.   It is not clear to me that the list of items
that could not be accepted is complete enough as proposed.
It is also not clear how such a practice will be implemented 
as a permit condition that would be enforceable.   I saw no
proposed VOC continuous emissions monitor, for example,
in the proposal.

There is some indication that certain steel-making facilities
may be sources of chlorinated dibenzo-dioxin compounds.  Without
more research, I don't yet know if such emissions would
be likely from this plant.

Particle emissions from this type of plant can be very substantial
when PM emission controls malfunction, or if emissions 
escape from hoods designed to collect emissions from 
specific process sources.  If the velocity of air flows around
the hoods is not sufficient, then uncontrolled particle emissions
will be released to general building ventilation and to the 

In addition, the handling  of slag/waste materials can be significant
sources of 
particulate air contaminants.

The site is located with residential neighbors in a relatively 
poor neighborhood directly adjacent to the proposed 
site along Lewis Road, Stanley Road and Dort Highway.
These residents may be troubled by potential noise and 
air impacts from the proposed plant because they will
be right on top of any plant that is built at that location.
They could have selected a better site for the plant.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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