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Re: E-M:/ Use of slag on Michigan roads

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

At 12:40 PM 09/30/1999 EDT, you wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from WMEACJENNY@aol.com
>my name is Jessie Watterson and I am an intern at West Michigan Environmental 
>action council.  Recently i have been recieving calls regarding the use of 
>slag in the process of resurfacing roads.  the caller is anomous and states 
>that the slag is a by product of of copper, zinc, and sulfides.  the caller 
>claims that the govener has the slag imported from Ohio and the DNR has been 
>told to leave the issue alone.   according to the caller the slag is damaging 
>our water.  if anyone has any information on slag or the by products of slag 
>please contact WMEAC at 616 451-3051, or post a message so that i can contact 
>you about the issue.
>                                thanks
>                                  Jessie

Whether slag is a threat depends on its chemical constituents, the process
from which it came and the acidity of the final regime in which it will be used.

Other considerations involve whether there is an inhalation hazard posed by 
dust created from the slag, or whether the slag will off-gas certain materials, 
such as hydrogen sulfide.

Several years ago, MDNR found high concentrations of chromium (don't know if
it was total chromium, hexavalent chromium (highly toxic carcinogen) or
chromium (low toxicity) in the parking lot of General Oil in Redford during
surveys there.   It was later determined that the high chromium was coming from 
slag from National Steel and its processors.

Where industrial process temperatures are high enough and where there is a 
high pH (high alkalinity), the glassine fusion conversions of silica
materials in such 
slag may render the material fairly inert.   MDEQ Waste Management Division, 
I believe, has some rules to look at the inertness determination for such
materials, although
frequently such inertness criteria will only examine potential water pollution 
potential and not examine inhalation toxicity potential.

Industrial slag is frequently used in roadbuilding and for railroad track

There is considerable pressure from industry on such industrial wastes to 
not have them regulated as hazardous wastes.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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