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.