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Phase1 - Environmental Site Assessment



Tank Farm (SCU32)


The Tank Farm (BD 88) is located immediately north of the High Dump, on land created by the infilling of Muggah Creek in the early 20th century (Figures 5-1 and 5-2). The tanks were constructed c.1950 in order to provide bunker ‘C’ fuel to various SYSCO furnaces, including the Open Hearth operations. Each of the four tanks has a capacity of 13 million litres (2.9 million imperial gallons), and an earth dyke surrounds the group of four tanks. No structures are known to have existed on the site prior to the tanks.

Use of the tanks was discontinued in July 1989, following closure of the Open Hearth furnaces. Regular maintenance has not been performed on the tanks, and the roofs of two of the tanks have partially collapsed.

In 1999, it was reported that the four tanks contained a total of approximately 1.6 million gallons (7.3 million litres) of liquid, consisting of bunker ‘C’, water and other liquids such as coal tar and waste oil. The current amount of product remaining in the tanks is not known.

Aboveground bunker ‘C’ distribution lines connect the four tanks, and extend to the south and east to the Reheat Furnace, and east to the pump/distribution house. The tanks were supplied from tanker vessels via a pipeline that extends from the piers, along the west side of the Blast Furnace area, and to the tank compound. An abandoned electrical transformer is located within the tank farm dyke. The transformer was reportedly tested and found not to contain PCB liquid (pers. comm., J. MacLean).

  Potential Environmental Issues  

Potential environmental issues include spills and leakage from the tank and associated piping over the past 50 years, and subsurface impacts due to historic waste material disposal in the adjacent high dump and slag dump areas. In addition, the pipelines may be insulated with asbestos-containing materials.

Blast furnace slag was widely used as a fill material in this area. Various heavy metals are known to be present in blast furnace slag, but often in a highly immobile state. An important part of future environmental testing at this site will be the appropriate evaluation of heavy metal impacts in relations to their environmental risk.

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