Thursday, June 27, 2013

Statement from ArcelorMittal's Executive Team to Employees RE: No. 1 Coke Plant Shut Down

June 27, 2013 Colleagues, After more than two years of studying our coke needs as well as the performance and life expectancy of our current cokemaking assets, we are writing to inform you that we will be phasing out our No. 1 Coke Plant. We anticipate this transition to be complete by March 2015. We have held meetings with all of the employees in this area and we will be working with our permanent employees for re-assignment to another position within the company. In addition, we will also work with our casual employees to match skills and performance to additional openings that may become available. Our cokemaking teams do an outstanding job in operating and maintaining our coke assets and are often consulted for their experience and expertise by cokemakers around the world. As a result of the efforts and skill of our cokemaking operations, maintenance and technology teams, No. 1 Coke Plant has been in operation for 62 years. In addition, our No. 2 and No. 3 facilities recently scored at the top of the group after an onsite audit and our team has been cited for benchmark operational practices around the ArcelorMittal Group and in the industry. To ensure a stable and secure supply of coke for our primary operations, ArcelorMittal Dofasco will now be responsible for managing an ArcelorMittal cokemaking facility in Monessen, Pennsylvania. This facility was rebuilt in 1980 and is capable of producing 360,000 tons of coke per year. Over the coming months our purchasing teams will look for ways to optimize transportation and logistics for our coke supply. Between now and March 2015, we will continue to make coke at all of our facilities, and our repair and maintenance teams will continue to service the No. 1 plant batteries and ovens. Our maintenance investment in the plant will continue until it is phased out, which is approximately $10 million each year to ensure it maintains performance. Should you have any questions, please contact your business unit manager or area General Manager. Best Regards, Executive Team

Monday, June 24, 2013

KUDOS to ArcelorMittal Dofasco!

On Friday, I posted some video footage showing pretty horrible emissions coming from one of ArcelorMittal's steel coil forklifts. The problem was serious enough that the company's coil yard fronting on to Burlington Street was a hazy mess of emissions. The company's General Manager of Environment, Jim Stirling told me he would look into the problem. A ride past this am confirmed that the problem has been resolved. Nice job ArcelorMittal - thanks for taking swift action on this problem. Hopefully timely maintenance of equipement like this forklift will prevent these kinds of issues in the future. WHAT YOU CAN DO This positive outcome proves that, as community members, we can have an impact. If you ever see a problem at ArcelorMittal or any other local industrial facility, be sure to take the time to observe, document and report the problem. In order to report issues to ArcelorMittal Dofasco you can call (905) 544-3761 or email

Friday, June 21, 2013

Where is Drive Clean when you need it?   Riding in to work today, I passed by ArcelorMittal along Burlington Street when I stumbled upon this scene:

It's a coil forklift that clearly has some serious exhaust emission problems. I watched as, every five minutes or so, the lift would circulate through the coil yard facing on to Burlington Street.  Sorry - I don't mean to beat up on ArcelorMittal all of the time but, honestly, why did no one in the plant take action to eliminate this problem? There are enough serious emission problems at the plant as is.  Why not solve the solvable ones?   I did email the plant's environmental office and they have indicated that they will look in to the problem. Fingers crossed they resolve it quickly - and help us to clear the air!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

ArcelorMittal Dofasco's Meltshop still has emission problems

We posted a number of visible pollution emission complaints to the Hamilton District Office of the Ministry of the Environment yesterday (June 12th) and the day before.  In all cases, the source of the emissions was ArcelorMittal Dofasco.

The first emission source - a chronic problem at the plant - is the company's Basic Oxygen Furnace or 'Meltshop'.  In this part of the plant, the company mixes molten iron with scrap metal to make steel.  But the facility has had an on-going problem with visible emissions from the 'hood' of the meltshop.  The meltshop was recently shut down for a week to undergo some repairs.  But the repairs, while they've reduced the emissions, have not resolved the problem.  The company tells us that they are reviewing the need for additional actions.  We've asked that they keep us posted on what they identify and any plans to take additional actions.

We reported 4 visible pollution emission incidents from the meltshop yesterday alone.  Here are some shots of what we saw:

Welcome to Clear The Air Hamilton!

Welcome to Clear The Air Hamilton!  Environment Hamilton has been doing a great deal of work over many years advocating on behalf of Hamiltonians to see serious industrial air pollution emissions resolved.   Clear The Air Hamilton will serve as an on-going communication tool for us to share these efforts with the community.  We hope this blog also encourages Hamiltonians to get involved with our efforts.   Much of what we do depends on a willingness to watch for problems, to document them and to report them to provincial environmental regulators.  In this age of digital cameras, documenting is easy.   We'll post helpful information regarding how you can go about reporting what you see to regulatory authorities and to the industries themselves.  And we'll also make a point of sharing details when we document and report industrial pollution problems.