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Phase1 - Environmental Site Assessment



Blast Furnace Stockyard (SCU 18)


Since the steel plant began operations in 1901, the Blast Furnace Stockyard was used for the storage of raw materials used in the steel making process, including iron ore, coke, coal and various alloys (Figure 5-1). A 500-metre long traveling crane transported the materials between incoming trains and the Blast Furnace charging areas. In the 1960s, an in-load conveyor belt was constructed from the new No. 3 Pier to the north end of the stockyard.

Rail lines and trestles bordered the stockyard to the east and west, and a small rail terminal building was located at its southeast corner. This building was demolished in 2001, and the traveling crane and trestles were demolished by PLI Environmental in 1998.

During the same demolition program, it was discovered that several components of the No. 1 Blast Furnace were lined with asbestos-containing insulation. NSDEL has confirmed that the waste material from this operation contained an overall concentration of asbestos was less than one percent by weight and were therefore suitable for burial on site, against the east side of the blast furnace foundation (pers. comm., P. Weaver, NSDEL). One of the stoves may have been buried in the stockyard area, to the east of the No. 3 Blast Furnace (pers. comm., former demolition worker). A large area of ground disturbance at this location adds credence to this claim.

Structures located along the east side of the No. 3 Blast Furnace were also demolished in 1998. Proper clean up of this area was never completed, and metal and concrete demolition debris is scattered along the western edge of the stockyard. Another component of the 1998 demolition work was the dismantling of Piers 1 and 2. Creosote timbers that formed part of these structures were placed on the north end of the stockyard.

Benzene, produced at the steel plant Coke Ovens site, was sold as a commodity during the middle part of the 20th century. A 15-centimetre (6-inch) diameter pipeline followed the eastern boundary of the Blast Furnace Stockyard, ending at a tank farm formerly located adjacent to the International Piers at the north end of the site. These tanks were later used for the storage of bunker "C" fuel for sale to vessels (pers. comm., J. Morycot, former SYSCO Engineer). The extent of the remaining pipeline is not known, but a section can be seen in the ditch near the North Substation access road. The tank farm was removed in 1998.

Looking Northwest at the Blast Furnace
Stockyard in 2001

Several railway tracks are located throughout this area. Some tracks have been abandoned and covered with slag. Environmental issues of concern associated with the rail tracks include creosote rail ties and potential contaminated soil under and adjacent to the tracks.


The majority of open space in this area is covered with granular materials. Slopes at certain locations show signs of surface erosion. Drainage routes located in the area present the possibility of siltation and sediment impacts to receiving waters.


Potential Environmental Issues


Potential environmental issues associated with the Blast Furnace Stockyard consist of soil and groundwater impacts as a result of long-term ore, coal and alloy storage. Residual acid drainage effects may also be present as a result of coal storage. Soil and groundwater impacts may be present as a result of bunker "C" storage, benzene transmission and storage, the former NEPCO tank farm, and soil impacts resulting from storage of creosote timbers. Also, asbestos materials may be buried adjacent to the No. 3 Blast Furnace, and demolition debris is scattered across the western edge of the stockyard.


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