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Phase1 - Environmental Site Assessment



Scrap Storage Area (SCU 25)


To the north of the Mobile Department yard (Section 5.4.3) is the Scrap Storage Area (Figure 5-1). This area is approximately 700 metres in length and 100 metres wide. Historically, the area was used for the processing of slag from the steel making operations, but since the modernization in 1989, it has been used to store the larger volume of scrap required as feed stock for the Electric Arc Furnace.

The Static VAR substation is located at the north end of the scrap storage area and consists of fenced compounds containing transformers and electrical distribution equipment. Access inside the fenced compound was not gained, as facilities are active. No evidence of spills or soil staining was observed through the fence. While no records were discovered, herbicides were often used to suppress vegetation in transformer compounds.

Several railway tracks are located throughout this area and many 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. In the past, used oil was often used for dust suppression on roadways on the steel plant property.

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

  Potential Environmental Issues  

Potential environmental issues in this area consist of petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metal, PCB, herbicide, and radioactive impacts to soil and groundwater as a result of historic scrap storage and waste processing activities, as well as atmospheric deposition from industrial operations and locomotives. Coal tar-impacted sediment may be present beneath the fill in this area.

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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